One of my favorite things about Southeast Asia is the abundance of tropical fruits that are available throughout the year. Of course, not every fruit is available each season, but luckily I came to Penang at a time when my favorite tropical fruits still tasted good! The thing about these fruits is that even though I live in Southern California (which has one of the best weathers in mainland America for growing produce), I definitely won’t find these fruits there! So whenever I visit, I always make sure to load up on these fruits whenever I’m in Southeast Asia :)
Mangosteens, one of the best fruits EVER! If you’ve never had a mangosteen, you’re definitely missing out! I probably ate 15 of these a day O_O but it’s because there’s actually a very small amount of white, fleshy, edible fruit inside.
The skin is thick and inedible and usually purple. The white part is very soft and comes in little wedges similar to tangerine wedges. If you’re lucky, the best mangosteens are sweet with a slight burst of juicy tanginess. There are small seeds in each wedge that often remains covered in some flesh.
The rambutan is another one of my favorite tropical fruits. It’s very similar to a lychee, but with hairy spikes on the outsides. I also find that it tastes better and sweeter than lychees! However it wasn’t at its prime season in July when I went to Penang :/
The durian! I came at a time when durian was in season. I kid you not, I smelled durian right when I stepped outside the airport. It’s sold on literally every block! Four words to describe it: oniony, mushy, creamy, spiky. Those spikes are SHARP! Can you imagine these things falling off a tree on someone’s head?! Durian vendors have thick workman gloves to protect their hands when they cut it for customers (I lost all my durian innards pictures :(). I personally don’t like the taste and smell of durian, but I probably had the best tasting durian I’ve ever had in Penang! It was sweet and creamy and I even missed the smell when I left!
This pretty thing right here is a dragon fruit! My only experience with dragon fruit prior to this was the Vitamin Water dragon fruit drinks that taste a bit like cough syrup. I was mildly disappointed at this fresh dragon fruit right here. While it was incredibly pretty and a vibrant magenta inside, it was rather bland ):
The rest are snapshots of colorful, dessert-like items that I found throughout the hawker fare. Most of them are some type of rice cakes, which make for good snacks but not great dessert in my opinion, especially when you consume a carb-heavy dinner like we did every night. #fatlife
I love it when food is colorful and vibrant, and I definitely found just that in Penang!