Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tropical Fruit

When I was a child, my mother's idea of dessert was often 'fruit'. My mom grew up in an orchard in the Niagara Fruit Belt, and she loved all the fruits of the growing season. I admit, the local fruit is delicious, but the season is too short, and for the remainder of the year we were stuck buying fruit kept in cold storage or imported. The only fruit from the grocery store that I really enjoyed during winter was the citrus fruit - naval oranges and clementines.

Here in Mexico, I've been exposed to a whole new range of fruits, including mango, pitaya, and papaya. Old staples such as watermelon, cantaloup, banana and pineapple are here year round, but are better at certain times of the year - right now seems to be one of the best times for the melons. We also eat imported fruits such as kiwi, and fruits grown in other regions of Mexico such as red or green grapes, apples, and pears.

My #1 favorite fruit is the Mango, a fruit I had never tasted until I lived here in Mexico. There are many varieties of mango, even here on the island - deep yellow, light yellow, greenish-red. My favorite is the deep yellow - not sure of the correct name, but here's a picture. We eat a large plate of fruit each morning with breakfast, but THIS mango also qualifies as dessert, it is so yummy!

The Pitaya is about to come into season. The pitaya is sort of like a cross between kiwi and honeydew melon - soft pulpy white flesh with a bunch of tiny, crunchy black seeds like the kiwi (although I think the pitaya seeds are a little crunchier). Pitaya is a refreshing fruit, so great to eat in the hot summer months.

One tropical fruit I can't seem to get to like is the Papaya. I know it's very popular here, but when I eat it all I can taste is gas. Yup, gas - as in the kind of gas that is emitted from the human body, usually in secret.

Now, I don't really know what gas tastes like, but isn't there a relationship between taste and smell? There is some trigger there when I put a piece of papaya in my mouth, and it is distasteful.

I know a few words for human gas - but I only use two in my vocabulary. The Spanish word I know is 'pedo' - a cute little word Miguel taught me. "Oops, escaped one pedo, excuse me". My mother taught us to call it a 'toot'. "Did you just toot?"

And so that makes me wonder about the origin of the saying "tooty-fruity". Did the word come about after someone tasted papaya and decided, like me, that it tasted like gas? "Oh, that fruit is disgusting, it tastes like a toot!". Could be, you know.


jeanie said...

LMAO Sue you really tell it like it is. Jonna had a hilarious post last week on noni(?) which evidently stinks. I don't care much for papaya either.

I really try to by local and support the community but imported fruit is my indulgence carbon footprint be damned. As you know we are not quite in to strawberry season yet in Niagara but I've been eating Mexican berries for months. Yum.

I don't know why but the imported produce has really change here in the last few years. Wonderful things from Chili and Mexico available at a fair price.

Some clever Mexican farmers have discovered that we Niagara folks love peaches and cream corn and it's amazing. Please don't tell anyone because you know how folks are here. They only eat local corn at $.99 a dozen so they eat it by the bushel for a few weeks in August. Speaking of gas....LOL

Bennie said...

Cute post Sue. I thought the one fruit was called a dragon fruit. I had never had it until I was down there with you and Miguel. Let me tell you the fruit there in Mexico is wonderful.

Life's a Beach! said...

I hate to admit it now, but I like the papayas on Isla! I buy them and eat half at breakfast. The taste thing must be kind of like cilantro. Craig is one of those people who can't stand it in anything! He thinks it tastes like soap. I think I'll try calling Craig Pedo. Ha!

jeanie said...

Beck, I am totally with Craig on this. I freakin' HATE cilantro. I rarely admit it in mixed company and certainly not on a message board.

Year ago I asked my friend Ventura who is a bartender a speaks very good English how I could ask for no cilantro. He said "No cilantro" LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

I really didnt like the taste of Papaya either until we had a Mexican exchange student from Puebla who taught us to eat it with fresh squeezed lime juice over it and sprinkled lightly with sugar. Since then I have eaten an entire papaya on many occasions - worth a try!

Sue said...

Jeanie - I have never seen a noni, but I saw Jonna's post and that was enough to convince me I'm not missing anything. Also, on Miguel's first trip to Canada it was during strawberry season, so he got to experience stopping at a fruit stand at the side of the road and then eating the basket of berries (strawberries and cherries) as we drove through the countryside. And one year I want to take him in August so he gets to sample our corn - there is nothing like it here in Mexico, not sure why.

Bennie - in the US and Canada, the pitaya is called 'dragon fruit'.

Beck - I don't care for cilantro either, but if someone puts it in my guacamole, I'll eat it. Let me know how Craig responds to the

Anon (sorry, not sure of your name) - yes, it is worth a try, because Miguel likes the fruit but because I can't stand it, we never buy it. Thanks for the tip!

Islagringo said...

I so agree with you about papaya! For years I have said it tasted like poop. Not that I know what poop tastes like but I bet it is the same as papaya! Noni is just plain gag worthy. What I really don't like though are those little yellow things that look like cherries.