If you’ve been to Thailand, you’ve been spoiled by the wonderful abundance of fresh tropical fruits found there. Fruits like lychee, longan, mangosteen, rambutan, rose apple, durian, jackfruit, and the list goes on and on… And if you’re like me, you’ve experienced cravings for these fruits ever since returning from your trip, no matter how long ago that was!
Cravings can drive a person to do crazy things, let me tell you. Things like obsess about where to find these fresh tropical fruits outside of Thailand… Fortunately for me (and the boyfriend, poor thing…), I can sometimes find some of these fresh fruits in my local area. But, I can’t find them all and they’re certainly not available year round, so I tend to continue my obsessive search for fruit where ever I go.
Take for instance the much-needed tropical vacation that we took to Maui a few months ago. Long before even booking our flights, I had read that you can sometimes find fresh mangosteen, lychee, and longan on this Hawaiian isle. And given my above confessions, you shouldn’t be too surprised to know that I was more excited about searching for these fruits than I was about laying on the beach!
So of course, our search for fresh fruit started the day that we touched down in Maui. We grabbed a bite to eat and then went on a tour of a tropical plantation, checked out several local farmer’s markets, and even went to a few grocery stores. But to my dismay, there were no Thai fruits to be found…
The next day, I decided it’d be best to ask the locals where they find these fruits. I got some blank stares when mentioning lychee, longan, rambutan, durian, and the like. When I listed off mangosteen, some people lit up and said, “Oh, you mean mango? I can tell you where to find that!” At that point, I was starting to get desperate… My tropical vacation was not going to be complete without at least a bite of fresh lychee!
Finally, a few days of searching later, we hit the jackpot with Mana Foods in Paia! They happened to have lynchee, longan, and mangosteen and that was enough for me! I was excited about all of these, but especially the mangosteen, since it’s so hard to find back home. A few trips back to this grocery and a few pounds of fresh fruit heavier and I couldn’t have been happier!
Of course, this was months ago… and now the cravings are returning :)
What about you? What are your favorite Thai fruits? And where do you go to find them?