January 09, 2014

What on earth is THIS fruit?

A nameless fruit - the beauty with Taiwan is learning

One of my favourite things to do in Taiwan, well, in most places in the world that I visit actually, but even more in Taiwan, is going to the market. The traditional market, the market that would by many be called the Farmers Market. Interesting food, you can watch what the locals are buying and you can get inspired. And inspired I get... 

Fruits and vegetables in Taiwan are amazing, I have mentioned it in several posts before. I love to go and pick out what's in season and see what I can do with that. Today I came across a challenge though, a fruit that I don't know what it is. It was inexpensive, which indicated that it is something that grows locally in Taiwan and also that it is in season - Taiwan is all about what's in season. I never saw it before though (or didn't pay attention), so I suspect the season just started. But what is it? 

Of course I bought it and took it home to investigate. I thought I could perhaps use it in my smoothie - I am very much into smoothies as a snack at the moment - but after I had tried it I realised it wasn't really the right thing to do. At least not right now

The peel is thin, not as thin as a potato, but thin. Thinner than on a citrus fruit, and it also has a very different flavour compared to citrus fruits.

It's big like a lemon in size, or a mandarin/clementine.

The texture is almost like chestnuts. 
I was thinking persimmon when I cut it but it wasn't sweet the way I know persimmons from how they taste in Europe. Sure, it may be a different type but still be a persimmon, but I have the feeling that this is something different. Maybe related to the persimmons we see in Europe though.

This one has two beautiful brown seeds, seeds that almost have the same colour as chestnuts, before they are peeled, but it's only two. 

What I did with it in the end? I made a really good vegetarian pasta sauce with chillies and pepper and a bit of salt. I cut the fruit up in small pieces after I peeled it and let it boil with spices, a bit of ginger, a bit of olive oil and water until it had all gotten very soft. It was full of flavours. 

The one I have left I will leave for a few days, to see if it changes texture and flavour with a few more days ripening time. Also, I am curious to whether it can be eaten raw or not, because the texture today wasn't inviting. You can have a few bits raw but it felt like something was missing, the texture was too, well, almost a bit sandy, if you understand what I mean. 

But if you know what this is, the name of the fruit I would be happy to hear from you! I want to find out the name in English but preferably also in Chinese, especially the characters. If it turns out to be something good and healthy I am going to make the most of the season and experiment with new recipes. It is difficult to search for recipes for inspiration if I don't even know the name... 


Hsun-yu Chan said...

I posted the picture on Facebook and one of my friends checked with her father. It is 仙桃 or 蛋黃果. I've never tried it before though. You can check its Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pouteria_campechiana

TravellingAK said...

Thanks you so much for that! Really appreicate it - how exciting, now I really need to do some studying! How interesting to hear that a fruit from central America has made it's way here, is now grown here and made it into my food market!

Hsun-yu Chan said...

Actually a lot of the fruit you see in the market were introduced to Taiwan, rather than calling it home. The government sponsors tons of research on a variety of fruits and tailor these fruits to the environment and people's preference. I also miss a lot of them!

TravellingAK said...

That's indeed very true and Taiwan is doing a great job when it comes to that. But those fruits are normally more commercially attractive, this one is a bit different. If what I read is correct it is diffcult to transport and looking around here it also doen't seem to be a very common fruit. A pity! Reading up on it it seems very nutricious! And I had another one that I let ripen a bit more and the flavour and texture changed quite a lot - it is gorgeous! I will have to do a bit more experimenting, love testing out new things!