One of the things that I look forward to when visiting far off lands is the glorious food. Somehow the combination of exhilarating adventures and treating your palate to a rollercoaster of flavors makes traveling all the more pleasurable and something that you would really want to look forward to.Â I believe that flavors can also heighten oneâ€™s impression of a particular place and it could leave a definitive mark in ones memory.Â Sometimes, a whiff of something spicy that is being sautÃ©ed in your own kitchen can easily bring back memories of a particular trip to Indonesia or a bite into a juicy mango can make you recall your trip to a mango farm in a province in the Philippines.
It was definitely no different when I visited Thailand.Â There were just so many dishes and tasty delicacies to try.Â Some of the food varieties were even exotic â€“ surely not the type that you will encounter on your dining table.Â Â But what I truly enjoyed while in Thailand were the succulent fruits that were always delicious, fresh and juicy.
Personally, a trip to Thailand would never be complete without a taste of their famous sweet TAMARIND.Â The Thai Tamarind or makham is considered a delicacy that is a favorite not only among tourists in Thailand but among locals as well.Â A tamarind is a brownish, somewhat oblong â€“ shaped and partly curved fruit that is usually grown in tropical countries.Â Its seeds are enveloped by a dark brown sticky flesh that can sometimes be sour and can also be quite sweet.Â Tamarind is commonly enjoyed as a flavoring for sour soups or tangy sauces. But for me, the best kind is the sweet tamarind fruits that are sold in flea markets or supermarkets and packaged in boxes or transparent plastic packaging for tourists to bring home.Â This tamarind is consumed just like any other fruit which is by peeling off the crunchy shell and taking a bite!Â The tamarind is so popular that the fruit is turned into candies wherein the flesh is combined with brown sugar and cooked over heat so as to caramelize the sugar.Â The mixture is then wrapped in plastic and packaged in very handy cylinders.Â Oh, these candies can be very spicy too.
You should also not pass up the chance to sink your teeth in the meaty flesh of RAMBUTANS.Â Rambutans are just about the same size as golf balls but they have a more elongated shape.Â They have a distinct color that ranges from yellowish to red, a spiky shell and at times this fruit is described as having red hair.Â You would have to grip or squeeze a rambutan real hard to crack open its shell and for you to enjoy its clear, moist and juicy flesh.Â If you find this difficult to do then go ahead and use a knife to slice open the shell.Â Make sure that the rambutan that you will be eating is already ripe so that it is easier to separate the flesh from the seed.
Of course, we should not forget about MANGOES.Â Mangoes, which are again oblong shaped, can be enjoyed when they are not so ripe and colored green and also when they are ripe and colored bright yellow.Â Green mangoes are included in salads or are presented as appetizers and served with sauces like chili or shrimp paste.Â Ripe mangoes, on the other hand, are served sliced up as part of a fruit platter or crushed to make yummy shakes.Â Mangoes are common in Thailand that it is an integral ingredient in a famous Thai dessert called Mango with Sticky Rice.Â This is my super favorite!
Another fruit that can be seen in fruit stands across Thailand are MANGOSTEENS.Â A mangosteen is colored deep dark purple which is similar to an eggplant.Â Its white meaty flesh is enclosed in a thick shell which is not really hard to crack open.Â The taste is sweet, creamlike, a bit tangy â€“ a bit indescribable.Â Mangosteen candies are also available. Its season only lasts for a few months â€“ May to September.
Have you ever tried eating DURIANS?Â Durians are quite notorious for being delicious and having a lingering intense smell.Â Because of this reputation, durians are usually not allowed inside hotel rooms and airports! Durians have a large, thick, spiked, and brownish exterior shell.Â The meat is yellowish and very creamy.Â I actually dare you to take a bite as you might just like it.
Thailand prides itself with having really delicious fruits that a lot of hotels make sure that a fruit basket is prepared for their guests in their suites when they check in their rooms.Â There was a time when I enjoyed a basket filled with bananas and mangoes when I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel Bangkok a few years ago.
So no matter what time of the year you get to visit Thailand, make sure that you head to the fruit stands to sample the different fruits that are in season.Â Sit down, relax and go fruit tripping in Thailand!