Being geographically located in the tropical zone, Vietnam is truly a heaven when it comes to fruits. One who first comes to the country will be amazed at the countless number of colorful fruits sold at a very reasonable price in every street and market all year round.
Mangoes are grown mostly in southern Vietnam’s provinces such as Tien Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho, and some northern regions like Son La, Ha Giang, Lai Chau. There are several kinds of mangoes in Vietnam: the yellow ones with sweet and soft meat including “xoai cat”, “xoai tuong”, “xoai ngua”; and the green sour ones “xoai xanh”.
Mango has a round shape and may weigh between 50 and 500 gram per fruit. Mango of Cao Lanh District in Dong Thap is considered the best of the country though each region has its own distinctive flavour. For example, Xòai Mộc Châu is smaller in size, often green outside but orange inside and unbeatable when it comes to the natural light sweet taste that no other varieties can compare. Xòai Nha Trang, on the other hand, is bright yellow, both inside and outside, with an almost overly sweet and juicy flavour.
As small as a tennis ball with the dark violet cover, mangosteen is the unique fruit of South East Asia region. Using a sharp knife to peel off the rough upper part, you will see the white pulp arranged in equal segments. The meat of the fruit is heavenly delicious, soft sour and sweet, creating the light and pure refreshment. Mangosteen is sold widely in southern Vietnam.
Măng cụt is grown predominantly in the South of Vietnam. Its main growing season is from June to August so if you come to Vietnam during this time you can indulge yourself with this amazing fruits for as little as $2 per kg.
A tip for choosing the best măng cụt is ‘don’t be greedy’. Go with the smaller and darker color one and the fruit will be sweeter and more concentrated. The big size mangosteen does not have as much flavour and is sually more costly.
Originated from Malaysia, rambutan looks like a sea creature with the soft fleshy hair from 2 to 3 cm long over the entire surface. After breaking off the reddish outer shell, the white and tender meat will appear together with the wonderful sweet flavor. In Vietnam, rambutan is grown most in Vinh Long Province, during rainy season.
Five or six times larger than the mango, durian is unique fruit with the thick and rough skin, covered with sharp thorns. At first, one may find durian’s smell extremely unpleasant (to the extent that most airlines have to ban passengers from carrying this fruit on board). Yet if you can eat it, you will love it.
Just after cutting the edge of the outer sell gently, one will be fascinated by layers of bright yellow segments of meat shining like butter. It has the special flavor of well-kept honey and rich in nutrition. “Smell like hell, taste like heaven”, that is what they talk about durians.
Summer in tropical land comes along with bright sunshine and extremely hot climate, and it is also the season of pineapple, the fruit with yellow meat that is grown all over Vietnam. In southern Vietnam, people call it “thom” of “fragant fruit” for its strong sweet smell when ripening. There are a wide range of products made from pineapple sold in the market: canned juice, pineapple liquor, and sweet preserved pineapple.
The smaller pineapples, mostly grown in the north of Vietnam, often has stronger fragrance and taste and less water content.
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