Saturday, March 31, 2007

discovering dragonfruit

It was really neat to taste things in Hong Konh that I can't get in the States. Some things, like certain fruits, are not allowed to be imported (because of the fruit flies) such as wax apples(left) and mangosteens.

Mangosteens are these interesting fruits with a deep, dark purple (almost black) peel. The peel is hard and thick and when you hold a mangosteen in your hand it feels like a you are holding a stone.

But underneath the thick skin-- almost in direct contrast-- is the whitest, softest fruit. It is the sweetest fruit I've ever tasted, with just a hint of tartness.

This fruit is in sections, like an orange. But there's a trick to the mangosteen. If you flip it over, you'll see a flower shaped pattern on the bottom. As many "petals" are on the flower is how many sections of fruit is in the mangosteen. And they're all delicious.

The other fruit that I've eaten before but never really seen, and especially not in abundance was the dragonfruit. This fruit is also a lesson in contrasts, as the outside is brilliant fuchsia and green, while the inside is white with black specks.

The dragonfruit has a subtle sweetness and the texture of watermelon. I love its appearance. I really want to illustrate a book about why the dragonfruit is called a dragonfruit. I haven't found too much about that, maybe I'll just make a story up!

Another discovery is pomelo soup! I had the most amazing bowl of this dessert soup, made from pomelo,mango and coconut milk when I was at dim sum at a restaurant called Metropol(I'm not sure about the spelling). It was my first taste of it and it was so fresh and light and yummy! I'm told that this soup is what the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin, has in her vase. She's very popular.

Other hard-to-find delicacies include Sesame Ice cream:

And long-life peach cakes. But I confess, I did not actually try a peach cake. I was too full from eating everything else.