Tropical Fruits in Vietnam

Tropical Fruits in Vietnam

Mangos teen - Quả Măng Cụt
The Mangos teen is a fruit that is unique to South-East Asia. The fruit is extremely hard to grow and it often takes 8-15 years for a tree to bear fruits. The rind of the mangos teen is dark purple marked by a yellowish resin. In terms of size and shape, the mangos teen is similar to the Japanese persimmon. It is also compared to a small tomato.
When sliced at the equator, the mangos teen yields white segments of flesh. These segments taste sweet and sour and have a slight acid after-taste similar to grapes or strawberries.
Rambutan - Trôm Trôm 
The Rambutan, also known unofficially as Hairy Cherry, has its origin in the tropical low-lands of Malaysia. The name rambutan came from the Malay word 'rambut' for hair. Today, the rambutan is grown in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. The fruit is about 5 cm long and has soft fleshy hair from 2 to 3 cm long over the entire surface. The peel turns from green to yellow to red as the fruit ripens. Once peeled the fruit yields a flesh that is white and firm. The rambutans grow in large bunches on trees that are 20 m high

Sapodilla - Quả Hồng Xiêm
Sapodilla is one of several fruits which were brought to South-East Asia from Central America. During their occupation of the Philippines, the Spaniard brought this fruit to the country and eventually it was exported to the rest of region.
When ripe, the fruit is very sweet, and has a molasses-like taste. The peel is thin and brown and the flesh itself is light brown. It is best eaten a couple days after it is picked, to wait for its resin to dry.
Papaya - Quả Đu Đủ
The papaya originated in Central America, and came to the Philippines during the Spanish occupation of this country. The fruit eventually spread throughout South-East Asia. The papaya tree bears only either male or female flowers with the female tree producing the fruits. Consequently, the male tree must be close by to pollinate the female flowers.
The fruits are large, weighing up to 9 kg and often look like a large squash. The skin is thin like those of the watermelon and turns from green to yellow and orange as the fruit ripens. The flesh of the papaya may be yellow, orange, or reddish orange and has a consistency of a very ripe (soft) cantaloupe. Papayas are sweet and are used as dessert.
In Vietnam, a popular dish using green papaya is "gỏi đu đủ bò khô", a salad like dish with shredded green papaya and shredded beef jerky eaten with a special hot sauce.

Guava - Quả ổi
The guava originated in the tropical region of the Americas and reached South-East Asia in the 17th century. Guava fruits are either round or pear-shaped, with thin dark green skin which becomes yellowish green as the fruits ripen. The fruits range from small tomato size to as large as 13 cm in length. Some Vietnamese like to eat the guava when it is not completely ripe. The flesh is crunchy much like eating a slice of apple. Sometime, the guava slice is dipped in a mixture of salt and grounded red chili pepper. The Mekong Delta's Xá Lị variety is probably the most famous in all of Vietnam.

Waterapple - Quả Roi

The waterapple is native to the South-East Asia. The coloring of the fruit varies from pale green to ruby red. The waterapple is bell-shaped and is about 5 cm in diameter. The center of the fruit is hollow and is filled with woolly fibers and brown seeds. The waterapple has a slightly acid flavor and can be very sour. Vietnamese often use the waterapplase as offerings at the altar because of their vibrant colors.

Sweet-sop - Quả Na

Sweet-sop, sugar-apple, and custard-apple are names given to this fruit from South America. Like the pomegranate, the sweet-sop is packed with seeds. The edible pulp is a thin layer covering the individual seed. The outer layers appear to be rough and scaly. The fruit is green even when it is ripe.

Longan - Quả Nhãn
In Vietnamese, "long nhãn" means dragon eye. The Longan is a close relative to the litchi. Longans are grown mostly in the cooler highlands of South-East Asia. It was brought here by Chinese immigrants as they migrated south and settled in various areas. The peel is brown and brittle. The meat is translucent white and is very juicy and sweet. In Vietnam, dried longans are cooked in water to make a dessert drink called 'nước long nhãn'.

Star Fruit - Trái Khế
The star fruit is a native fruit of South-East Asia. The fruit has a distinct taste and is often used in cooking. When sliced cross-wise, the pieces look like five distinct-angled stars. Consequently, the fruit is a must in certain Vietnamese dishes as garnishes. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. Star fruits grow in cluster of three of four. The sizes vary from 5cm to 17cm. The fruit is green when young, turning yellow to almost orange and slightly translucent when ripe. Star fruit's skin is quite tough while.

Corossolier - Mãng Cầu Xiêm

The corossolier is a close relative to the sweep-sop. In terms of size, the fruit is substantially larger than the sweet-sop with some fruits weighing as much as 1.5 kg. The peel is smoother with tiny spikes (more like bumps). These spikes turn black as the fruit ripens.

The corossolier has less seeds than the sweetsop and the meat is more firm, almost chewy. In general, the fruit has a sweet and sour taste. In Vietnam, the corrosolier is blended with condensed milk and ice to make a delicious fruit drink. During the Tet season, the corossolier is preserved with sugar to make a candy-like treat called mứt.

Jackfruit - Quả MítThe Jackfruit is a native fruit of Asia. It has its origin in India, though after many centuries of trade, it reached South-East Asia where it is considered a delicacy. Jackfruits come in many shapes and sizes, although generally they are oblong or pear shaped. They can grow to 90 cm long and can weigh up to 44 kg. The name Jack is believed to be a Portuguese mispronunciation of a Malay word meaning round.

Jackfruits have a thick pale green rind with thousands of sharp hexagonal spines. Once cut open, the interior yields dozens of individual golden yellow pulps. The meat of the pulp covers a large brown pit. When ripe, the meat is sweet. The pit can be boiled and eaten as well. The wood from the jackfruit tree is very strong. Sometimes, it is used to make furniture and to build houses. In the north, the wood from the jackfruit tree is carved into statues in pagodas.

Banana - Quả Chuối
Although the banana can be found throughout the tropics, it is a native fruit to South East Asia. Reference to the banana was first made in the Epics of the Pali Buddhist canon in 500 BC. Bananas were exported to Africa from Indonesia around 1, 500 years ago. Consequently, reference to this fruit can be found in the Koran as the Tree of Paradise.

The banana plant has no woody tissue, so it is not considered a tree at all, but a giant herb. The banana plant can grow to height of 4 to 8 m, depending on the variety. Today, Vietnam boasts 28 different varieties of banana from plantains (used in cooking) to the dwarf banana (finger size).