Banana (Thai name – kluai). The most popular tropic fruit. Around 20 kinds of bananas are grown in Thailand: from small sweet aromatic ones to rather big with thick golden rind. Thai people prepare them in great many ways! If they eat them uncooked, the eat green and spicy. Semi-ripe bananas are cut to pieces and dried in the sun. As for ripe ones, they fry them in deep fat, boiled on coconut milk or syrup... The most popular and cheap snack in Thailand is well-fried bananas. Season – all the year round.
Coconuts Coconuts (Thai name – ma-phrao). If it were not coco-nuts Thai cuisine would be a mix of Chinese and Indian one. They are used in different dishes so frequently that could be compared to potatoes in Russia: most of the soups are made on the coconut milk basis, there are deserts made of coconuts in syrup, it’s added to rice or just eaten uncooked. The liquid in an unripe coconut slakes thirst well, though very original. Coco-milk is sold right in the coco-nuts on the markets. Season – all the year round.
Guava (Thai name – farang). This fruit is not originally Thai fruit, it was brought from abroad. But anyway, guava has stroke its roots there and now it’s one of the most popular fruits. In Thailand it’s eaten unripe (when the pulp is green and more hard) with salt, sugar and spices. The season – all the year round.
Mango (Thai name – ma-muang). This is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand. Some kinds can be eaten unripe, some of them both green and ripe. Sour sorts are usually eaten with sweet or salty seasoning called “Nam Pla Wan”. The pulp is aromatic, juicy, fleshy, fibrous, yellow colored. The stone is big and strong. It’s not recommended to eat mango in big quantities as it can disorder stomach. Season – from March to June.
Water melon (Thai name – taeng-mo). Red and yellow colored pulp water melons are widely spread in Thailand. The taste is the same. Yellow water melons are popular among the Chinese (yellow is the color of gold and symbolizes wealth), that’s why they are more expensive. Basic season – spring and summer.
Tangerine (Thai name – som). Thai tangerine is a small fruit with peel thinner than the western one has. It has splendid sour & sweet taste and squeezed is a perfect soft drink. Season – all the year round.
Papaya (Thai name – ma-la-ko). Oblong, cylindrical, pointed papaya fruit is covered with green peel, which becomes yellow as the fruit becomes ripe. Ripe papaya has bright orange, soft and sweet pulp, surrounding plenty of small seeds in the center if the fruit, which should not be hard by touch, and should not be spotted but of regular yellow color. Green fruit is usually sprinkled with squeezed lime juice. Thais also eat green papaya: cut papaya is mixed with dried shrimps, garlic and chili. That is how a famous hot salad Som-Tam made. Season – all the year round.
Pumelo (Thai name – som-o). Big yellow-green citrus fruit. Is formed by pale colored lobules having sweet or sometimes bitterly taste. Is a dewy fruit, perfect for breakfast. Pumelo looks like a giant grape-fruit with thick yellow-green peel hiding white pulp. Inside the pulp is divided to lobules, like in an orange; it has sweet, a little bitterly taste. The smell is the best guiding when buying one: the stronger it is, the more concentrated, rich and fresh would be the taste. Pumelo is used in a spicy Thai salad to suppress hot taste, and also to make juice. Season – from July to September.
Rambutan (Thai name – ngo). Small oval fruit with very sweet pulp, covered with long fibers. Peeled easily, under the peel you’ll find very sweet white pulp with a small stone inside. One of the most noticeable on the markets and tasty Thai fruit. When choosing one you can select by the color – the more pink it is, the better. But don’t take too dark fruit, as they should have laid somewhere for a long time. Unripe fruit are sour and the stone isn’t easily taken out. Season – from the middle of April to the middle of October.
Pine-apple (Thai name – Sa-pa-rot). Thai pine-apples, especially it’s southern sort, are considered to be the most delicious from all the ones growing in the other countries, and that’s true. This popular oval tropic fruit is covered with hard segmented brown-green rind and topped with thick leaves. Inside there’s fibrous yellow pulp with rich sour-sweet taste. You should choose pine-apples of different sorts by touch – it shouldn’t resemble a board, but be soft a little. Season – from April to June.
Dragon fruit (Thai name – geow mangon). Bright pink fruit the same size as a small apple, but a little oblong. Color – bright pink. Is covered with big scales which are bright green on the edges. If you peel it (incise with a knife and then peel off like an orange) you’ll find thick white, red of violet pulp with plenty of little seeds, like in kiwi, which occupies all the space inside. Season – all the year round.
Durian (Thai name – too-ree-an) – It’s a big green fruit about a soccer ball size, covered with thorny rind, with yellow pulp divided by three lobules. Slick pulp resembling sour-cream has rich taste and strong smell. Please, don’t try to select yourself! You should either ask the seller to select, dress and pack it for you into a clingfilm, or find already packed one. The pulp shouldn’t be resilient, but should flatten under your fingers like butter. It’s not recommended to mix with alcohol as durian’s pulp contains a lot of vitamins and acts as a stimulator. Season – from April to September.
Mangistine (Thai name – mong-khut). “Fruit queen” – it’s a small round fruit with thick dark-violet rind, topped with bid green leaves. Inside there’re six or more soft white lobules with sweet, a little bitter taste. And one more mangostine rule – the more lobules are there on a fruit, the less seeds it has. You should select the following way – take the most violet into your hand and slightly gripe them: the rind should not be very firm, still shouldn’t be very soft, as it means the fruit is overripe. Season – from the middle of April to the middle of October.
Jackfruit (Thai name – kha-nun). The fruit is big and heavy, the form resembles water-melon, can be cut by only a big knife. Inside under yellow-green rind you’ll find big yellow lobules with unique taste resembling duchess pear and strong aroma. Segments are divided from each other by the seller and sold separately packed ready for use. Season – from January to May.
Litchi (Thai name – lin-chi). It’s a small round fruit with hard thin red shell, covering sweet white juicy pulp, tasting a little astringent. Because of white pulp and dark stone combination litchi is also called “dragon eye”. Season – from April to June.
Longkong (Thai name – long-kong). Small round fruit growing in bunches with pale yellow thin peel, covering semi-transparent white sweet pulp. Season – from May to November.
Sugar apple (Thai name – noi-na). Bumby dark-green rind covers milky colored sweet aromatic pulp: if the fruit is really ripe, it can be eaten by a spoon. Ripe fruit is soft, if it’s firm, then it’s unripe. Season – from June to September.
Starfruit (Thai name - ma-fuang). Yellow or green fruit resembling sweet pepper by form and size from one side, but if you look at it from above, you’ll see it has a star form. That’s why it’s called starfruit. Ripe fruit are very juicy, have fine flower taste, not very sweet. Season – from October to December.
Sapodilla (Thai name – la-mut). Looks like small mango, but the is darker brown, the form resembles an egg. The pulp is very sweet, rather soft and not very juicy, has a bright milky-caramel taste. Season – from September to December.
Longan (Thai name – lam-yai). Small round fruit, covered with pale-brown thin peel, hiding very sweet and juicy white pulp. There’s a big black stone in the center. Season – from the middle of June to the middle of September.
Sweet tamarind (Thai name – ma-kham-wan). The pod or the fruit reaches 10-15 cm long and is colored brown-red. Inside there’s fibrous sour-sweet pulp, containing up to 10 hard brown seeds. The taste is bitter-sweet with citrus flavor. The pulp is very sticky. Usually sold as syrups or briquettes. Used to make jams, sherbets, soups, sauces and marinades. Season – from December to February.
Pink apple (Thai name – chomphu). Resembles sweet pepper, but more transparent. Thick pulp resembles European apple. In spite of its name sometimes it’s pale-green or red colored. Very juicy fruit with sour after-taste. Slakes thirst very well. Season – from June to October.