Tropical fruits slide show: http://www.medicinenet.com/tropical_fruit_pictures_slideshow/article.htm
In the link above, click the “next” sign under the text to the right side of the page to see the explanations and to change image to the next fruit.
Some of these fruits are not found in the supermarkets here, but it is still nice to learn what they are.
The star fruits that I find occasionally at the mega AB Vasilopoulos supermarket are often too ripe, looked yellowish and soft instead of greenish and crunchy (the way it should look before consumption). They should be consumed before turning yellowish. I guess people don’t know the fruit and are not so eager to try new things, so it usually becomes a “decoration” item in the supermarket’s fruit shelf and turns yellow. A pure loss for the retailers who try to introduce the fruit. Watch out for the caution that said people with kidney stone problem should stay away from this fruit.
When I was little, I was living in a company-owned house with a mango tree (among many other fruit trees we had, like banana and grapefruit trees etc.), I remember our mango tree is quite tall about 2 floors high. The mango variety I used to eat in Taiwan looks slimmer, smaller, and with green colored skin, but tastier than the ones I find here. It is not yet so popular for the Greeks to eat mangos, so the supermarkets don’t buy them in large quantities. Nevertheless, it is more well-known than the star fruit.
The mangos here are either imported from Africa or South America but never from Taiwan (although TW has mangos too! and more than just mangos…with fruit names and the TW Ag Exporter info you may need).
The mangos available in supermarket here are often nice looking on the surface, but the fruit fiber and the “meat” inside have already turned partially black. I really don’t know why it is so, maybe there is preservative?
Aside from the above slide show to learn the tropic fruit names and nutrients, I always wonder why the bananas sold here are so expensive!?
1.40 Euro to 1.99 Euro per Kg! (experts in marketing & int’l trade are welcome to leave their comments, is it the transportation cost? the middle men? or the tariff?)
When I was little my backyard was full of banana trees, and people used to come to collect them before the typhoon would hit us. I would eat my bananas only if I would get some favor afterwards. Now I have to buy them expensive and from only this choice or that (although once in a while I find local bananas but they are kind of small).
This is my dream: one day I am going to try growing my own banana again and be self-sufficient and sell the rest really really cheap to my little community.
I miss my own banana tree! And I miss my childhood home. I’d like to visit it again, but only when Taiwan stays as Taiwan.
Other interesting links:
The encyclopedia of spices http://www.theepicentre.com/index.html
How to make sticky rice (Zong-zi) step by step with the Travels with Sandy (was discovered accidentally):http://travelswithsandy.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/recipe-how-to-make-zongzi-part-2/