Sep 29, 2011
There are many possible reasons for people
to go to a foreign country on business, for pleasure,
to study, to visit relatives and friends, for shopping, etc.
But the reasons probably do not include eating,
even less eating fruit.
Having unfamiliar names like rambutan, mangosteen and durian only lends to the mysterious, perhaps even scary, stigma surrounding Thai fruits; often eaten as a snack or transformed into a dessert, or featured in meals – particularly coconuts. Street carts patrol the sidewalks with ice-chilled offerings of seasonal fruits. However, these vendors don’t exactly uphold hygiene standards, so proceed at your own discretion. All fruits are almost always available year round in supermarkets, but some are better at certain times of year.
Those who come to Thailand, however, will find that fruits in this country are so plentiful, so diversified, so inexpensive and so delicious that they constitute an unexpected reward, a bonus.
It is not simply because of its geographical position as a tropical country that Thailand produces so many different kinds of fruits of good quality. The tropical climate is certainly favourable to the growth of vegetation. But there are other factors that have contributed to the rich production – the fertile soil, the introduction of new species from foreign countries, the continued efforts to improve the quality of fruits by scientific methods, and the comparative length of Thai territory, which extends right into the subtropical zone, making it possible to grow fruits native to places of higher latitudes.
Here is a brief introduction to several kinds of fruits produced in Thailand that are worth special recommendation. Names in Thai with their romanized spellings are given after the English names of facilitate the identification of the fruits. Prices given are just rough indicators. The actual prices may vary according to the season, the harvest and where the fruits are bought.