Favorite tropical fruit?


They definitely have a sour aspect to them. But when they are ripe and getting brown on the edges, they don’t look as pretty but are more sweet and sour than just sour. They aren’t everyone’s thing but when used ripe I enjoy them - we used to make an ice cream with them (more sorbet/granita style) that I loved.

Here is a pic just to show the difference (just grabbed from google) - they are sort of like a plantain in that when they start getting ugly is when they are my favorite.



My coworker grows these here in CA. He’s got a huge tree and always brings us avocados. The avocados are not as fatty tasting IMO. I use them the same as I do the Hass avocados. I find they slice nicely for toast and salads because they aren’t as creamy, so the slices hold their shape better.


sorry, kumquat and calamansi ( kalamansi) are different. The trees are different the fruits look different as well as taste. Kumquat is sweeter whereas calamansi is sour, like lime and lemon .


They use it in Singapore/Malaysia too. They just call them limes though. If you order lime juice (aka lemonade made with limes), they make it with calamansis. They will also give you a half with some foods, like noodles, soups, etc to add a bit of acidity. They aren’t as tart as the limes we get here.


like to eat them as is. Somehow, adding salt and /or vinegar makes it less sour. Another favorite wa of eating them is slicing them into thin chips, and dehydrating them under the sun. Common childhood snack !

(Andrea) #46

I suspect that those tall display columns may be full of plastic starfruit for decoration, not fresh fruit for juice.


One of my favorite fruits, not found in the tropics but in China is called San Cha in my Fujian dialect. Since it has to come from China, it is only known to me in 4 forms, a pickled sour form in juice, a sweet and sour dried fruit with a sticky coating, one that is similar to the preserved sweet and sour form but comes in a BBQ stick. Each fruit is encased In a thin sweet sour crunchy shell . Lastly, as a round quarter size thin chip which we call San Cha Pia ( Pia mining cookie) . I do not know the official name of this fruit except in my dialect. You might know as you seem to frequent HK often? I have never seen the actual fruit but it must be a cross between a strawberry ,raspberry and cherry. I find San Cha Pia in the Asian Grocery Store but the other forms, I have not seen. It is often given to women who are infanticipating, and the pickled form to help aid in N&V. When I arrived in the US, a jar in my hand ( my mother packed it to help me if I get motion sickness) , stopped by Ca to visit my aunts, they begged me for it. When my uncle came to visit me 40 years after I arrived in the US, he asked what he can bring? I told him SAN CHA! He brought me a huge bag, the sticky form> I consumed within a week. The only time I visited the Philippines after arriving in the US in 1964, my relatives took me to the Chinese district to buy San Cha! I bet this can be found in NY or SF’s Chinatown.


This calamondi is becoming an intriguing fruit to me. I surely must have run across it in the states, and not taken notice. I will be sure to buy some and experiment at next opportunity.

My uncle in Los Altos Californiia has a beautiful kumquat tree in his back yard. The tree produced so much fruit that he can’t even give it all away.

Aside from being a citrus fruit, a calamondi bears little resemblance to his kumquat in shape or color. A Google search suggests that calamondi has kumquat in its genetic makeup.

Boogiebaby, I’ve enjoyed lime juice drink in Singapore. So refreshing in that hot climate. In retrospect, the sourness should most likely be attributable to calamondi, per your advice.

From the web:

“Parentage/origins: Reported to be a mutation on a branch of a regular calamondin tree. Calamondin is believed to be a natural hybrid, with kumquat in the parentage.”

In Singapore:


Here in Southern CA, we can buy calamansi at most Asian markets. They are more expensive than regular limes, but in the summer time, nothing beats a big glass of cold lime juice with asam boi in it!

ccj, I think you are talking about the hawthorn berry? They make haw flakes out of it, which are a pinkish reddish nickle sized candy. They come in small rolls wrapped in colorful paper. We always but them from the Asian market – my son loves them and always asks for them. (pic from web)


that is it.
I did not know they are called hawthorn Berries. I will have to google about them.
I do like this haw flakes, ( have not had some for a while, thus forgot they are called Haw Flakes. I Just read the Chinese characters.)
They are quite good. If you can find the preserved hawthorn berries that are round, coated with sweet sour slightly sticky substance, shas a few small almond shaped seeds, they are DELICIOUS! The sticks are even better. Same berries but has a thin crunchy sweet sour shell.


Here it is , Chinese Haw

“haw flakes” that comes in several disc sizes. The “haw jelly” also comes in several shapes and is a little soft, like jelly when you bite on it. And the “haw ball” which is round like a marble and it is coated with sugar. It is the sweetest of the three type of candies.

During winter, the candied skewer version is extremely popular in Northern China. About ten fruits are skewed on a bamboo skewer and coated with boiled, hardened sugar. Needless to say, it is very sweet!


here is the haw stick

I found Haw jelly roll in EBay $16.00 for half a pound but I am not sure if it is sweet or sweet and sour. Unfortunately, description is in Chinese. My knowledge is very limited.


I think that’s the disconnect for me, when i reach for Avocado i want that thick rich fatty texture
I’ll pick one up to have cubed in my salads, I didn’t realize they are better at holding their shape once sliced which i can see as a good thing


Fresh young coconut. Yum!!!

Mango ice. Yes!!!


In the Philippines, these young coconut are served when the 3 eyes( that’s what we call them) are poked open, and a straw inserted to sip the juice. Then, the vendor will split open the coconut and you can scoop the very thin soft meat out with a spoon. It’s yummy. Often vendors come to our development in a cart and will do that bit of service. When the coconut is young, there are plenty of juice , unlike the older mature ones we buy here. At the beach, they are served same way, but sometimes, rum is poured inside the chilled coconut just before serving. I do not recognize the yellow custard like slices with ice, are they mangoes or melon? We have a tool that we use to scrape the melons into strings as well as young coconut. With melons, we take the seeds out and squeeze the juice rendered with water, use the tool to make strings out of the melon, add water, some sugar , chilled it is another tropical drink. Speaking of coconut, have you ever heard of macapuno? Macapuno is a hybrid of coconut. The flesh is just like coconut but sweeter and firmer. It used to be rare , the farmers know if they have a macapuno instead of coconut by listening to the sound of the coconut when they knock on the coconut as the sound is more solid than hallow. It is used for making desserts ( fruit salad, halo halo, ice cream, candies etc). My understanding is the Philippines has developed an industry of raising 80% macapuno tree in a research center in the province of Albay. If interested, you can buy them in a glass jar in the Asian store either as macapuno strings or balls in syrup. I prefer the strings. https://www.filstop.com/bottled-macapuno/


Mango ice.

I’ve only had young coconut used as a vessel for ice cream. What little meat I scraped out was very tender. I love coconut juice, so I better try the whole young coconut at next op.

The young coconuts I saw were still on the stalk, like Brussel sprouts. Well, sort of. I’ve not had one juice to meat, but I love the idea and they look yummy just laying there!


the sweetness and quantity of the coconut juice depends on how y young they are and when they are taken from the trees, just like your picture, brussels sprout or banana like. In fact, at the beaches where there are coconut trees, the boys climb up the tree like monkeys when y 9u ask for coconut. It is a sight. They really can climb!
Try the macapuno, it is good in ice cream, in filipino fruit salad ( canned macapuno, jackfruit, kaong- another fruit which is sugar pal, that is sort of round that has gelatinous quality, 3- 4 times the amount of drained fruit cocktail, add an apple , whipped cream and cream cheese) chilled.

(Denise) #58

Thank you for mentioning calamansi/kalamansi. When we bought our house, the previous owners left a couple in the freezer for us to taste. (It was summertime and they enjoyed calamansi to flavor beverages.) I had never seen this fruit before, or since, and you have enlightened me.


I you liked the fruit for beverage, you may like it added to your soy sauce ( they sell soy sauce calamansi mix at Asian store)together with garlic, pepper etc as a dip. If you garden,you can easily buy them from nurseries, ( I know in Maryland, Benke’s nurseries carry them), place it in a large pot or tub., bring it indoor during the winter or leave outdoor it o live in Florida or Ca. The small tree is very pretty especially when there are fruits hanging from it.


This is called Atis. It is grown a lot in the Philippines, as well as Southeast Asian countries.
This fruit has been called custard apple, sweetsop, and sugar-apple in English.
Here is a website to learn more but i disagree that Atis is sour but not acidic. It is sweet! It is best eaten when soft but not yet mushy.
Another popular fruit is called lanzones which is sweet without that hint of acidity when the skin which is yellow turns darkish. http://www.choosephilippines.com/eat/local-flavors/172/lanzones-fruit-gods
/Another favorite is chico. The is also found in Mexico and other Latin countries
You can never go wrong with chicos as they are really sweet once it is ripe. You can peel off the skin or just eat it with the skin, spit out the black seeds.
Mangosteen is also a favorite with health benefit.
Early in 1990’s , Pure Mangosteen juice was sold for a premium as vendors claim they are very rich in antioxidants since Mangosteen fruits weren’t available in the US.
However, all the fruits above are available , if not plentiful in Toronto’s Asian stores.