Fruits from a Taiwanese Street Vendor

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Being in the subtropical zone, Taiwan is in a great location for growing all sorts of delicious fruit, and is also pretty well known for the fruit produced.  Not only is there an abundant amount of fruit, but they are also all delicious!

Let’s take a look at what types of fruits is typical to see at a Taiwanese Street Market:

Yellow Watermelons

Yellow Watermelons from Taiwan
Yellow Watermelons from Taiwan

You can find these babies here in the states, but not as commonly as in Taiwan.  These yellow-interior watermelons are in any of the grocery stores in Taiwan.  They taste just like the red version, but looks unique, and for some reason I feel fancier eating them…

Taiwanese Guavas

Taiwanese Guava
Taiwanese Guavas

Guavas can also be found here, but the ones I’ve seen are NOT as beautiful as the ones I find in Taiwan. Not even close.  Those here are all tiny, and when I tried buying some once, they were not nearly as sweet as those from Taiwan.  Taiwanese Guavas are big, round, juicy, and delicious!

Starfruits (aka Carambola)

Starfruits (or Carambola) of Taiwan
Starfruits (or Carambola) of Taiwan

First of all, look how cool they look!  Can you see why they are called “Starfruit”?

Why a starfruit is called a star....fruit.

The taste, if I HAD to describe it using the taste of other fruits… is a little bit citrus-y and apples and plums? If they are super ripe, they are super sweet, if not so ripe, they taste a bit more sour.  Well, that’s the best I can do with describing the flavor.

Papaya

Papayas From Taiwan
Papayas From Taiwan

The papayas found in Taiwan have the same story as guavas.  Yes, you can find them here in the states, but they are not nearly as ginormous or sweet/yummy.  Also, they are a lot more commonly eaten here (just like the guavas).

Wax Apples

Wax Apples from Taiwan
Wax Apples from Taiwan

I haven’t seen these in the States before, so I believe if you can, it is very rare to find… These babies are called Wax Apples… or apparently any of the following names: Champoo, love apple, java apple, royal apple, bellfruit, Jamaican apple, water apple, mountain apple, cloud apple, wax jambu, rose apple, and bell fruit.

Don’t be mistakened by the name, it doesn’t tastes or feel like apple at all.  I think the only reason it is called that is because it’s red…and is a fruit. They are way softer than apples, and not as sweet/crunchy.  I do love these a lot, and just realized I didn’t have any this trip back to Taiwan! :(

Durians

Durians from Taiwan
Durians from Taiwan

These fruits can be BIG (as wiki puts it: 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb)), but that’s not the most recognizable trait of Durians.  That…would actually be the distinct SMELL of the fruit. Some people like the smell, some people HATE it with a passion.  I agree with both somehow, but I definitely think it tastes kind of… yummy. You see, if you don’t know what you’re expecting, it’s custard-like texture might be a surprise.

Here it is being split up and making some people cringe and some people get hungry with its smell:

Durians split open
Durians split open

Coconuts

Coconuts from Taiwan
Coconuts from Taiwan

Yep, just your average coconuts.  But look how nice they look! I just love that it’s so easy to find yummy fruit everywhere in Taiwan :)

Sugar-Apples (aka Custard-Pineapple)

taiwan fruit
Sugar-Apples (aka Custard-Pineapple)

If you only clicked on this post because of that first pic, you’ve scrolled down far enough to learn about them!  These are sugar-apples.  Again, they don’t taste at all like apples despite its name.  I definitely have never see these in the states, but again, super common in Taiwan.  They are custard-like inside, but unlike the Durian, no one thinks it smells bad, and most people think it tastes yummy!

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    By: Tina T

    Tina is a foodie that loves eating delicious and healthy. Having grown up in an Asian household in Atlanta, she loves creating and eating both Asian and American cuisine. Tina is the main blogger and owner of Oh Snap! Let’s Eat!. Read more…

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80 comments

  1. Yum starfruit! I miss it. Did you know it’s very good for your throat?
    I’d like to try wax apples and sugar apples some day! Now that I’ve found out about it I will keep an eye out for it when I will travel this summer.
    btw: Durian is also a very nice fruit once you get past the smell! Love it in dessert!

  2. Awwww~~ your photos brought back a lot of my memories, especially the night market!! >0< But it was definitely nice to see them on a Western blog (somehow I felt rather previliged!! LOL) My favourite of all of the above has to be the yellow watermelons, I love them more than the red ones as I dislike some of the powdery mouthfeel if there isn't enough juice =P

    You just need to be careful with the wax apples though, they are yummy too, yes; but they are exposed to large amount of pesticides, so you gotta make sure you thoroughly wash them before eating ;)

    1. That’s interesting! I did not know about the pesticides. Oh well, I only get to have them when I am in Taiwan which is not as often as I would like to be!

  3. These pictures and your descriptions make me want to go back to Taiwan! I always end up eating everything else and not much fruit! Don’t forget about dragonfruit! YUM!!

  4. I can’t remember which country it was, but somewhere in Asia I’ve visited had signs banning the carrying of Durian on public transport because of the smell. I don’t think it’s all that bad, but then again, I quite like the smell of natto as well, so maybe I just have a strange sense of smell….

  5. Durian and many more that sold in Malaysia, HK, Taiwan, Japan…etc are exported from Thailand. If you now visit Hatyat (southern of Thailand), you can try to taste these. Now this is a season of Durian, rose apple, mangostreen. For generation, we eat mangostreen after durian. It likes Yin and Yang. Durian is a warm type and mangostreen is a cool type. Another reason, I think, mangostreen can reduce the smell of durian when we belch.

  6. Morning. Durian and most of typical fruit are exported from Thailand to HK, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan…etc. Now this is a season of Durian, mangosteen, rose apple. For generation, we eat mangosteen after eat durian. Like Yin & Yang. Durian is hot type, mangostee is cool type. Another reason, I think, to reduce the smell when belch. Hat yat is in the southern of Thailand. If you can visit there, you’ll find now.

  7. Sugar apple is new to me. Thanks for the education. And how I miss all the others from my childhood memory. Some I do get here in the U.S.–but they aren’t the same! Not tree ripen…lack the freshness, intense flavor in all of them.

  8. I have too many things! A lot of it is the street vendor food’s though. Like at the Night Markets! I have a post somewhere about the night markets! Delicious!

  9. I love the fruits here in Taiwan! Although many of them I can also find in my home country, the fruits here are bigger and more shiny. :D Their agriculture work must be really good here. And I can’t wait for the mango season soon. :D

  10. First of all, congratulations for making it in the freshly pressed. I actually have another reaosn why I clicked your post. :-) Taiwan is the first country away from my homeland I’ve ever visited. Hence, anything about blog post about the place really appeals to me. Some of the fruits you captured are also common among the neighboring Asian countries. In my country, the Philippines, durian and sugar apples are very common in specific islands.

  11. I love the sugar apples of Taiwan. They remind me of when I was a little girl and great Grandma (bless her soul) fed me sugar ales. Back then, I did not like them as they were tiny and had so many seeds. These were the Philippines variety. Now, I can’t wait for these sugar apples when they are in season in Taiwan!

    Congratulations for making it to Freshly Pressed. Your photos are simply amazing!

  12. Oh yes, those wax apples are delicious. We often call them Jambu in Singapore, often io Hokkien Dialect. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself in Taiwan.

    1. That is very interesting! I didn’t know that! I just went to their wikipedia pages and grabbed those english names since in Taiwan they would all be in Taiwanese or Mandarin.

  13. Mmm all your photos are making me miss Taiwan! I visit my grandmother who lives there every couple years, and the fruits are always fantastic. I for one have always called the sugar apples “buddha heads” hahah, I decided it was a suitable name when I was a kid and it just stuck. The “wax apples” are super great too, they’re just so refreshing and light and crunchy. Great post!

  14. Great photos! I’ve been eating all the fruit I can in Indonesia. It’s always so exciting to try something new.

  15. Thanks, thanks…
    I am from Taiwan, Taiwan is my hometown. I am very glad that you write the post about Taiwanese Street Market, I like the durians best…

  16. Love the fruit pictures! We are living and working in Mainland China, and appreciate the fruit here too. We saw in Singapore that durian is not allowed on public transportation! The yellow melons seem to have a different taste to us…? The “sugar-apples” sound great…we will look for those! Thanks! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  17. Hello, Mindsome,

    Fortunately, we have all of those fruits in the Philippines. The star apple is called balimbing over here (that’s another word for turncoat, haha) and the wax apple is known to us as makopa. Yes, macopa tastes a bit like bland apple, haha. We have a fruit-bearing tree right in our yard. One can find plenty of durians in the supermarkets (am among those who are repelled by its smell, peace!) as sugar-apples abound in the market during its season.

    Your composition is excellent. You made the fruits look interesting and way more delicious even as they’re ordinary enough for those who see and taste them quite often. But then again, fruits always taste good and are nutritious. Thanks for doing and sharing this post. :)

  18. We have sugar-apples in India ,instead we call them as “Sita Phal”. They are not so popular as the other fruits but are very yummy to eat, it is filled with seeds in a sweet-pulpy whitish matter.

  19. Wax apples are my fave. I didn’t know that’s what it’s called in English. That is something I learned today. Thank you. We call it “tambis” in our dialect, that is also available in the Philippines. I remember when i was younger, we used to climb wax apple trees or to our neighbor’s roof, get some and eat it with salt. I miss my childhood days.

  20. Awesome, it took me almost forever what Sugar-apples called in English. In Eastern Part of Ethiopia we call them Gishta. Thank you for all the others except papaya never even seen them before.

  21. I have been to Taiwan, and I have tasted all of these fruits. I find all of them very delicious except for the Star fruit. You should try visiting the Philippines. They have all of these fruits (under a different name of course) and other unique ones.

    On a different note, love the post. Keep up the good work :D

  22. I’ve tasted all the fruits in this post. Wow! Didn’t know Taiwan grow same fruit crops with the Philippines. Learned something new and interesting fact today. Durian is my favorite! :)

  23. Sugar-apples are known as atis in my country.. I didn’t know they were called Custard-Pineapples… That’s interesting.

    Fruits are just awesome. :)

  24. Nice pics. The wax apple looks like the fruit part of of Cashew-nuts. Do you know if they are?
    Actually, any fruits that are not native gets labeled “exotic”. It helps that tropical regions have a wider variety of fruits :-)

  25. To have that variety of fruit here in NYC would be heaven. Some are available in Chinatown; like the stinking durian, star fruit, papayas, etc. But where or where can I get a wax apple like I had in the Caribbean? Thanks for checking out Fried Neck Bones, btw.

  26. Custard apples, aka cherimoya! My favourite fruit – not common in the UK but you can find them if you look hard. Terrific post!

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