I had heard of tamarind, but really had no idea what it was. As far as I was concerned it was a flavorful ingredient that I usually couldn’t find at the grocery store. I asked my students to name fruits and after banana, mango, pineapple and coconut they said tamarind. They taught me something that day. Tamarind is a fruit! And a stroll through the market taught me that there are plenty of fruit that are new to me.
Mango can be orange, juicy and sweet or green, crunchy and sour.
Champoo, or Rose Apple, looks like mis-formed tomatoes and tastes like an apple.
Falang (which is the Thai word as “foreigner”) is a guava. Apparently it’s funny to see a foreigner (falang) eat a guava (falang). This fruit has confused me because it’s a green fleshed, crunchy white fruit, and I think of guava as a juicy pink fruit. It turns out that they are both a type of guava.
Phetchabun is famous for it’s sweet tamarind. There are tamarind sculptures everywhere. It has a hard shell, that you need to crack open. Then you remove the interior stem and you’re left with sweet, sticky fruit over big black seeds. Tamarind tastes very much like dried dates.