Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fruits From the Underworld

 I want to start off by saying...I feel like the most fortunate girl on the planet to have all of this.....

...right at my fingertips!!! I honestly do not even have to words to describe how much I love grocery shopping, but to have all these beautiful fruits to choose from whenever I go to the market...
It is perfectly providential! :)
 Nicole and I were at the market yesterday and OOOOH BUDDY!
We loaded UP.
We came home and weighed our bags. I was carrying 40 pounds and Nicole had 38.
I have a bruise on my shoulder today.
Everyone might not be aware of this, but both El Pastor and my mom are in the States right now. This means a LOT of walking, fighting the crowds and bus rides for Nicole and I. Usually we enjoy it, but we both wish we had boyfriends/pack horses when it comes to the market. LOL!

We try to buy only what we can carry, but yesterday we were shopping hungry (not a good idea when you don't have a car). Hunger, and...who can resist all that beautiful fruit?? We could NOT!
This is how our grocery shopping trips go:
1. Walk out and grab a bus.
2. Ride that bus into town and get off at the grocery store.
3. We get at the grocery store what we CAN'T get at the market. Like laundry soap, refrigerated and canned items.
4. Walk 4 blocks to the market. We buy fruits, veggies, meat, cheeses, and usually grab lunch too!
5. Drag our loot onto a bus. If we are lucky, we will get a bus that goes near our house. If not, we have to walk a few blocks after getting off the bus. The ride home is about 20 minutes long. Again, if we get lucky, we will get a seat. If not, we must ride home standing up, hanging on for dear life while also carrying a ton of bags. It can be quite miserable!!

That was our day yesterday (after school - ha!) But alas....we are so privileged! We are getting to experience things that some people only dream of.

So there's my introduction! A bit longer than I planned...heh heh!

This is a granada china (a Chinese pomegranate). 
One of the many fruits you will likely never find in the U.S. It feels hollow and light, but when you open it, you will find a glob of what looks like squids!
The stuff inside it has the consistency of what I imagine an oyster. Never ate an oyster though. However...it tastes like Starbursts! It's yummy and tangy! If you can get past the slimy texture, you will like this fruit. (You eat the seeds).


Good in a green smoothie..

 Slingy, flingy, slimy!

Yesterday I got agua de maracuya. It was very good! Tasted kind of like peach tea, but with gooey pieces in it. (I like gooey haha).

 This is a mamey, pronounced "mom-ay". They are very good!! I had one the other day that was so sweet, I could not even eat half of it. 

It feels kind of fuzzy on the outside and inside is orange. It is almost potently sweet!

When mameys are in season, people sell them on the side of the road and at stoplights cut up like this: 

 Just a little side-story...
The day Nicole and I went to the market, we stopped at a fruit stand where there was a little tiny man. He had a hunchback and was probably about 4 feet tall. 
We were very curious about all the different fruits he had and he was more than happy to satisfy our curiosity. He was very knowledgeable and ready to give us a sample of whatever we wanted! I knew I wanted to do a blog post on all of these different fruits, but I did not know very much about them. We basically conducted an interview with him on each of these fruits. What does it taste like? What is it used for? How do you know when it is ripe? How long will it be in season? Is it supposed to be that mushy? :D
We ended up buying most of our fruit from him and walked away much smarter - haha!

Now this........this is a NONI!!!!!! 
Have you ever seen a noni??
Have you ever SMELLED a noni!?!?! 
Probably not. I never have until a couple weeks ago. 
If you HAVE seen one of these before, there is a good chance you passed out when you got a whiff of it. It is awwwwwwful!!
The noni (no-nee) is medicinal, believed to be a cure for everything from migraines to cancer. 

We did not know the horror a noni could be until be took it out of the bag when we got home. We thought it had gone bad. I told Nicole to just take a quick picture then throw it away. And that was that. Or so I thought. 
Later on the day I went in my room and found it sitting on my bedpost. EWWWWWW! 
 Thus began the game called "Hide the Noni"

Here I have hidden it behind Nicole's dresser mirror...Notice the mold on it - haha! It was pretty stinky at this point. It was behind there for a few hours. When Nicole finally opened her bedroom door, it had had enough time to permeate the entire room. There was no doubt a noni was hiding somewhere.

 Hidden on a shelf in Nicole's room...

I think this spot was the hardest one for her. Here she is heading into her horrible-smelling room. 

She once hid it up in my light fixture...this went on for a few days. The game finally ended after many rounds of going back and forth in each other's rooms with it. The game ended when I found the noni duct taped to the bottom of my mattress. It was turning black and extremely mushy at this point. Keep in mind, we would spend a LOT of time looking for the noni each day. It was a little time-consuming!

 This is a chicozapote (chico-sa-poe-tay). This one is actually a little green--it is not supposed to be--but it is the only picture we got! Anyways, this fruit is probably my favorite out of the ones on this post. It is soft like a pear, but tastes a little like brown sugar. A little bit grainy and very juicy. Yum!

This is a zapote negro (black zapote). It has the consistency of an avocado, and although it hints at being sweet, has practically no flavor. It is not gross, but neither is it good! However, they use these in a drink down here and it is very tasty! 

 And here is a truck load of pineapples, just for good measure :)

We call this fruit the alien fruit. It is green and has spikey thorny little nubs all over it. It is the weirdest looking, weirdest feeling fruit I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. :D
It is actually called a guanabana. 

I discovered this fruit a couple of years ago when we went to one of those fruit juice places. I know of no other fruit to compare it to! It has such unique flavor, it is hard to explain. Tart, but sweet and delicious! 

It is mushy and extremely juicy. Unfortunately it has seeds allllll throughout it...

It is a little hard to explain, but basically a guanabana is made up of tons of tiny little sacks. Each sack has a pretty good sized seed in it. Now...I do not have a college degree in "Guanabana". This is the first time I ever bought my own to analyze, and this is how I did it.
It took me a good while, but you have to get each little sack, one at a time, and squeeze the seed out. The sacks of course are tightly compressed together inside the fruit. There are probably about 200 of them. They are juicy and slimy - haha! I'm sure this sounds disgusting, but believe me - it tastes fabulous!

In the end, your hard work is paid off with a pile of gooey white mush! I ate some of my labor, but used the rest to make agua de guanabana (guanabana water=guanabana juice).

We are so lucky to have all these wonderful fruits down here! I know if I ever end up back in the US I am going to miss these fruits like crazy. There are many more that we have down here that I have never seen sold in the US, but this is what is in season right now. Hope you all enjoyed!


Hanna said...

Wow! That is so cool! Hahaha, I didn't even know these fruits existed! Thanks for sharing :)

Elias Martinez said...

Love fruit, I am willing to try all this stuff. hahaha


Jennifer Connell said...

This was all very interesting! Love your 'hide the noni' game...
Sounds like something we would do in our house.

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