They have some awesome, but very different, fruit over here. I mentioned the durian and soursop mentioned in the post about the Gratte-Tongue, but my favorites are the mang cut (mangosteen) and chom-chom (rambutan).
Here’s a picture of me holding a mang cut I bought from a vendor while we were eating Italian and watching the Vietnamese science experiment mentioned below:
Here’s a picture of the platter of chom-choms Ut picked up at the market for us (the office staff) earlier today:
Here’s a platter of mang cut Ut also got for us today:
To eat the mang cut, you can squeeze it’s shell until it breaks open and exposes the white fruit inside as in the first picture above, or score its shell and pull the top half of the shell off, as Ut has done above. Mang cut is also known as “brainfruit” because the white, lobed fruit kind of looks like a human brain.
To eat the chom-chom, you use a knife to score the shell of the chom-chom and then pull the top half of the shell off, exposing the white fruit inside, as you can see Ut has done above.
It’s hard to compare the way these fruits taste to other more common fruits in the USA. They taste more like each other than anything else. Sometimes I think they have a cherry flavor, but the texture is very different – maybe like a kiwi is the closest I can come regarding the texture. But the bottom line is they are both delicious! My personal favorite is the mang cut. I ate a whole kilogram by myself the other day.
And, as I am sure is no surprise, they are very cheap. Even at tourist prices, they are 20,000 dong ($1.25 USD) for a whole kilogram. We frequently get Ut to go to the market down the street and buy some for us for a mid-afternoon snack.