Here’s a colorful list of Taiwan fruits you must try!
Just this morning, I had the most amazing breakfast all fresh from this season. On my plate were a green orange, a giant persimmon, an even bigger pomegranate and a luscious dragon fruit. That’s only a smidget of what I grew up eating.
Taiwan isn’t known as “The Fruit Kingdom” for nothing. Although a high percentage of fruit vendors sell imported produce, Taiwan is naturally a subtropical zone and an ideal land for growing all kinds of tropical fruits. With mountains 4,000 meters above sea-level, and breezy cool climates from such mountains, Taiwan is a tropical island perfect for temperate-zone fruits as well.
So the next time you visit Taipei, don’t just indulge in what you know. Taste all that Mother Earth has granted this small but gorgeous island. Guavas, mangos, lychees, and papayas are just for rookies! Here’s a colorful list of all things you must try on your next big trip to my fruity island!
1. Shoot for the stars with Star Fruits.
They have a slightly waxy skin with crunchy flesh. Although it contains lots of juice, it lacks fiber. The sugary taste isn’t overpowering, and at times, I would venture and say it tastes…salty. But definitely worth a few experimental slices!
2. Sweet and adorable Wax Apples.
They’re shaped like bells and each fits perfectly into any palm. They’re sugary and absolutely delicious. Look for “black pearls” wax apples, they are the most sought-after kind (with a purplish-red color) and can only be found in Taiwan.
3. Don’t envy, eat Green Mangos.
Smaller than typical red mangos, they’re also sweeter, containing a lot of juice. It’s the perfect summer fruit to chew on but be careful, it can get real messy!
4. Sugar-Apples, aka, “Buddha’s Head.”
Because they’re shaped like it! They are fragrant and sweet. Insides are custardy, creamy, and filled with seeds. They are delectable summer-to-autumn fruits, take a spoon and just go for it!
5. Go easy breezy with Yellow Watermelons.
They’re lighter and more fragrant than red watermelons. In Mandarin, we call them “jade watermelons” because of the color resembling an emperor’s robe. Must note: these make great smoothies as well!
6. Milk Pineapples are a special breed.
No, it’s not really milk with pineapple, but it sure is high quality and absolutely delightful! The meat inside is pearly white, with a sweet and light smell. You’ve got to try it to believe it.
7. Guavas exist all over, but the ones in Taiwan are particularly sweet.
If you are lucky enough to find ones that are pink inside, they are even sweeter. Some textures are crispier or mushier than others, and sizes vary as well. But they’re all over, many Taiwanese plant guava trees (instead of apple) in their backyards!
8. Same with Papayas…
Again, also prevalent in other countries. But the ones in Taiwan are more sugary and some have rouge flesh. Unlike in Thailand where green papayas are used for salads, Taiwanese papayas are perfect for creamy smoothies or they’re completely amazing on their own as a fruity snack.
9. Durians are smelly but they are indeed the king of all fruits.
Spiky like porcupines on the outside. If you can get past the revolting smell, the insides are sweet like honey. They make the perfect frozen ice cream. Don’t be an ignorant traveler and make disgusting faces as you walk by a stand. Try first, then judge.
10. Dragon Fruits are gems!
They look like fireballs on the outside but offer breezy, fresh bites of summer goodness. Make sure to peel the pink skin off, then dive into an interior of polka-dots. They make gorgeous summer salads as well!