The Great Food Truck Race came through our town earlier this year and our episode aired a few weeks ago…pretty fun show!
On the show there was a team called the Pho Nomenal Dumplings (they won the show and $50,0000.00)! Well obviously their specialty was Asian based cuisine; so when they were in our little town, they shopped at an Asian market we had never known about. Last weekend we decided to go exploring.
I can’t possibly explain how amazing it was in one post (4 aisles of just noodles)! But what captivated us was the produce section…flown in from FL and CA it was amazing. Not to mention the vast array of exotic fruits and vegetables never seen in your regular supermarket. I have dreams about the Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms!
Here is a sampling:
Rambutan: The rambutan is native to southeast Asia and is closely related to the lychee fruit. The skin is red and covered with hairy spines. The flesh is semitransparent or pale pink and has a mainly sweet flavour. The single seed is glossy brown and not edible.
Chinese eggplant: Compared to the American eggplant, Chinese eggplants have thinner skins, a more delicate flavor, and not as many of the seeds that tend to make eggplants bitter.
Chinese okra: Surprise! It’s not okra at all it was just named that because of it’s resemblance. It’s a gourd, in the cucumber family. if harvested young it has a sweet, delicate taste and can be used like summer squash. If allowed to fully mature it becomes that Loofah common to bathrooms (crazy)!
Durian: From Southeast Asia, many regard the durian as the “king of fruits” the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odor, and large thorn covered exterior. The edible flesh emits a distinctive odor that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell has been described similar to rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its smell has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia. (Side note: I spoke to a woman that loves durian, but has to eat it outside her house because her husband likened it to smelly feet).
The fruit featured at the top of the post is Dragonfruit; Dragon fruit is a beautiful fruit grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Israel. It is actually a type of cactus, and the fruit comes in 3 colors: 2 have pink skin, but with different colored flesh (one white, the other red), while another type is yellow with white flesh. A very nutirtous fruit that is high in vitamins and low in calories, it is sweet and crunchy, with a flavor that’s like a cross between kiwi and a pear!
We bought mushrooms, noodles, coconut milk, plaintains, siracha mayo, etc. and my husband made some amazing dishes that weekend. We’ll definitely be back! Dragonfruit yes, Durian, no!