Friday night I was antsy and bored and had no plans. When I landed on 30Bad, a fragment of a thread title caught my attention: "Go on an Adventure." So I said "Yeah, that's what I need to do right now!"
I hopped in the car and decided to make the half hour trek through Chicago traffic to the giant Asian grocery store (we have this place called Super H Mart which is an Asian grocery that's as big as a WalMart -- no kidding.) My mission -- find any exotic fruit I hadn't tried yet and buy it.
I figured everyone else was at Woodstock Fruit Festival, so I would have my little festival for one.
Well it was an exotic fruit bonanza. Several things on my "not-yet-tasted" list were available. Here's what I got:
White melon (tiny)
Jackfruit (didn't buy a whole fruit , but a very ripe slab)
It was quite an expensive venture ($45 for not much volume), but worth it.
So my weekend has been tasting my loot. Here's my verdict: Korean and white melons - meh, no flavor. I wouldn't get them again. Longan I liked and could buy again -- I actually liked them a little better than lychee, which are widely available here. Hami melon was okay, but it does not come close to my favorite canary and santa claus melons. Fresh dates I didn't understand. I don't know if these were the edible Bahri or what -- they didn't seem edible to me. I am letting the rest sit in a bowl to see what they do -- ripen or dry up.
Now to the seriously expensive items:
Jackfruit: The smell was to die for. It exuded such a fragrance in my car on the ride home, and filled my apartment with heavenliness. The next morning I couldn't' wait to tear into it and dislodge those tempting golden pods. I had picked what looked to be the ripest cellophane wrapped slab. Unfortunately, when I ate it, I think I may have chosen a slab that was too ripe. The fruit itself tasted slimy and stringy and just on that edge of possible fermentation indicating too ripe. I didn't like it at all, and threw most of it away.
Durian: Okay. I was really waiting for this much-hyped experience. Got the thing cracked open okay. Carefully scooped out the pods and allowed myself one cup -- putting the rest in the fridge. At the first bite, I could tell why people swoon over this. It is definitely creamy and custardlike and has a nice flavor. However, by the end of the bowl, the heaviness and the slight onion overtones were becoming cloying, and I had to push to finish my bowlful. Glad I had this experience, and glad I am not so smitten that I would be compelled to purchase this expensive item again. I wouldn't turn it down if offered, but again, I would prefer a ripe santa claus melon any day of the week.
I had also bought a strange little thing that I didn't recognize. By examining the cash register receipt, it turned out to be a Hawaiian papaya. (I'm only familiar with the giant Mexican variety). I was alittle bummed that that is all it was, plus I have heard that Hawaiian papaya are GMO. Nevertheless, I'm letting it sit and ripen, but it seems to be turning gray. Will probably end up throwing it out.
Still on fruit bucket-list-yet-to-try: cherimoya and chocolate sapote.