An attractive fruit with a bright red skin covered in green tipped hairs, the rambutan is a delicious, white fleshy fruit. Thai rambutans are particularly noted for their sweetness.
Rose Apple (Chomphu)
The rose apple is bell shaped, with a glossy, edible skin that can be either green or pink. It is crisp and slightly acidy in taste.
Similar in shape to a small mango, the sapodilla is eaten when ripe by removing the peel and slicing the reddish brown flesh.
About twenty different varieties grow in Thailand. It is a versatile fruit, used in various forms. They can be eaten raw when young and green as a vegetable with a spicy sauce; others, still un-ripe are sliced, dried in the sun and fried for a snack. They are also grilled and soaked with syrup; boiled in coconut milk with salt and sugar; boiled in syrup; smoked in their skins or turned into golden fritters.
Available throughout the year, coconuts appear in almost every Thai dish. The milk is a prominent ingredient is soups and curries, where the sliced or grated flesh also features. It is even more frequently used in desserts either as a custard, or as a candy, as crispy strips cooked in brown syrup and countless other confections.
The legendary durian is renowned for its distinctive aroma. The durian is regarded as the king of fruits, a rare and expensive delicacy. Of the large fruit it is the creamy golden flesh within the spiny exterior which is eaten. Thai durians are noted for their subtle flavour and smooth texture.
The apple-shaped mangosteen has a deep purple leathery skin. Its interior has 5-7 segments of juicy white flesh, some containing a large seed. The segments are enclosed in dark pink pith, which should be removes before eating. The flesh is sweetly refreshing, highly fragrant and slightly tart. Eat it fresh or add to fruit salad.
Thailand grows more than a dozen varieties of mango, the variety determining the way in which it is eaten. Some, particularly the light yellow and slightly darker types, are traditionally served at the peak of ripeness, accompanied by sticky rice and coconut milk. Others are more often eaten as a condiment or in salads when the skin is still dark green and the flesh white. Some mangos can be pickled.
One of the most popular snacks, guava can be eaten when ripe or still green, often dipped in salt and sugar. There are two varieties, the usual white flesh type or one with bright red flesh when peeled.
Looking like a large melon, this fruit has a grey skin and has a great number of pips or kernels which can be the size of a pigeon egg and when roasted are like chestnuts. The fruit has a strong smell, but is yellow and succulent with a sweet taste. It can be eaten fresh, with ice cream or mixed with other fruits and coconut milk. The cooked seeds are also found in many dishes.
This is a small, round sweet fruit which can be eaten fresh, processed for fruit juice or dried.
Another fruit which comes in various forms. Litchi are eaten peeled and seeded, with the flesh having a sweet taste with a hint of tartness. The skin can vary from being pinkish in color to dark red.
A small brown fruit, grown in the North, the crisp skin is removed to reveal a white flesh with a texture and sweetness similar to a litchi. It is most often eaten fresh.
The skin of young fruit is green, and it turns yellow when it is ripe. Its thin skin contains milky and sticky sap. The flesh is smokey white and the seed is green. Be aware not to bite the seed because it is bitter.
A long yellow or orange coloured fruit which is well established in Thai cooking. It is probably most frequently used in a spicy salad - som tam - where it is sliced and ground with dried shrimp, garlic and hot chillies. The ripe fruit is also eaten fresh with a few drops of lime juice.
The pineapple is grown particularly along the coast of Thailand and the Kingdom now ranks as one of the world's leading exporters of canned pineapple. It can either be eaten fresh, or used as an ingredient in cooking such as in a spicy soup called kaeng khua sapparot.
The Thai version of the grapefruit, although slightly larger and with a sweet taste. There are a number of varieties, each with different colored flesh ranging from pale yellow and orange to red.
Color : yellowish green; flesh-white
Taste : sweet and scented.
Sugar apple (Noi-Na)
Also known as a custard apple, it is a heart shaped fruit with a lumpy green skin covering masses of sweet scented white flesh. In most cases the fruit can be divided into two and the creamy flesh eaten with a spoon. Alternatively it is used as a base for ice cream.
The hard green pulp of a young fruit is very tart and acidic and is most often used as a component of savory dishes. The ripened fruit is sweeter, yet still distinctively sour, and can be used in desserts and sweetened drinks, or as a snack. In Thailand, there is a carefully cultivated sweet variety with little to no tartness grown specifically to be eaten as a fresh fruit.
Water melon (Taeng-Mo)
Grown in most areas of Thailand, the watermelon is sweet and refreshing, often eaten dipped in salt. The juice is often used as a beverage.