It’s been awhile since I’ve had a taste of mangosteens, rambutans and longans. Only recently did I finally have a chance to eat them once again when my Mum brought some to share with me.
Such fruits are among the reasons that I’m glad that I live in a tropical country like Malaysia. Where else can you get such a wide variety of fruits and at relatively affordable prices? (You should check out the prices charged for a single banana in Starbucks overseas. It’s undoubtedly criminal).
Of course, such quirky fruits will come with their own unique set of traits. For instance, mangosteen juice leaves purplish stains on your clothes that will be hard to get rid of. And durians will leave you with the smell on your hands for days (but of course, if you love durians, why not relive the moment of eating it multiple times afterwards?).
Not forgetting too the fact that many of these fruits often reach your hands accompanied by a small colony of ants. Hehe.
Besides the durian, my favourite local fruits would be mango, lychee, mangosteens and jackfruit.
The other thing about local fruits is that most of my memories eating them would be with family.
Eating is a Malaysian pastime, and it was no different in our home. We would typically eat fruits together after having our main meals. Those were good times. I have my Mum to thank for picking out such a wide selection of fruits for our consumption over the years. I probably wouldn’t appreciate most of them right now if I hadn’t had a chance to try them while growing up.
On the whole, I think there’s very few local fruits that I won’t eat.
An exception, however, would be ciku. The reason for this being that I find the fruit too sweet. Well, all fruits are sweet, but perhaps it’s the kind of sweetness. Whatever it is, I just don’t fancy cikus.
Unfortunately though, with all the many rich varieties of Malaysian fruits, the only types that make it into hotel buffets (and thus, the ones that most foreigners visiting our fair country get exposure to) are only fruits such as the papaya, honeydew, starfruit and watermelon. And the occasional rock melon.
This isn’t, in my opinion, a good representation of the vast choices of local fruits we have. I guess the reason that the selection is limited to these few is probably the price. It’s a shame though.
Another cool thing about local fruits is that I tend to remember their Bahasa Malaysia names more than their English equivalents. Which makes it feel all the more a truly Malaysian thing.
Having said all this, I should clarify that this doesn’t in any way mean that I don’t like other fruits like strawberries (which technically could be called a local fruit too since they do grow it up in Camerons) or apples. It just means that I’m glad to have so many types of fruits within easy reach.
How dull it would be to eat just oranges, apples and pears all the time.