Thailand is famous for many things. Thai Fruits is one of them – fruits are an immensely popular export of Thailand (next only to Thai massage !!!)
Mere mention of “Thai fruits” brings to mind images of juicy, colorful and flavourful fruits so completely different from looks and taste of universal fruits (like Apple, orange and banana) that they have become synonymous with something “exotic”. We consume them for their tastes and exotic appeal when our pockets can permit. Some of us are content only eyeing them lustily in the supermarket shelves.
Despite their good availability these days, little is known about them, hence through this blog we will attempt to cover some of the most popular Thai Fruits along with their health benefits.
- Dragon Fruit:
It is a tropical fruit and surprisingly it's a fruit of a cactus plant ! The fruit is really beautiful on the outside and on the inside. Perhaps it is called Dragon fruit as its red colour inside green peels resembles a red flaming mouth of dragon.
Dragon fruit is native to Mexico but due to some clever marketing by Thailand (and Vietnam, Indonesia etc.) it is now associated with south-east Asia and is a major export from there. They are sweet-sour and refreshing, with juicier flesh and a strong taste.
- Eaten as Fresh Fruit
- Slice it or cube it in your museli
- Part of fruit salad
- Part of many tasty drinks and desserts
- juice the fruit (along with other fruits too, if you like, such as kiwi), and transfer it to a mould and freeze it till it’s set), add honey or jaggery to sweeten it – enjoy the sorbet
Dragon fruit is low in calories yet offers numerous nutrients, including vitamin C, B vitamins, phosphorus, protein, calcium, fiber, captin, and antioxidants. Like other red fruits, dragon fruit contains lycopene, which helps protect against cancer and heart disease.
Dragon fruits have a surprising number of phytonutrients. Rich in antioxidants, they contain vitamin C (equivalent to 10 percent of the daily value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as carotene and protein.
Rambutan is native to Thailand and Indonesian region and close relative of lychee and longan. The word is derived from the Malay-Indonesian languages word for rambut or "hair", a reference to the numerous hairy protuberances of the fruit.
The fruit has smooth, round interior (reminds of the Indian rasgullaa) engulfing a seed much like lychee fruit but the taste is less sweet with a more subtle flavor.Most rambutans are sweet and juicy, but some varieties are acidic or slightly drier.
Dried rambutan with seasonings
In some areas, the seeds are roasted and eaten, similar to roasted nuts.
The high fiber content of rambutan aids the digestive system in food metabolism, preventing constipation. The fruit also contains high amounts of antioxidants, which makes it both anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic. Antiseptic Qualities. Claimed to be effective in getting rid of Intestinal Parasites perhaps due to its antifungal properties. Rambutan is a good source of phosphorus, which helps in bone formation and the maintenance of your bones and teeth.
Mangosteen – a very attractive fruit – in fact it looks like a flower more than a fruit- is also knows as Queen of Tropical Fruits. This exotic, round, purple colored fruit is immensely popular for its snow-white, juicy, delicious arils all around the globe. Known as "Mangkhud" in Thai, Thailand is the largest producer and exporter of mangosteens. The flavor of the fruit can be best described as sweet, mildly tangy, fragrant, and delicious.
Complements well with a wide range of other fruits in fruit salad
Mangosteen juice is a refreshing thirst-quenching cool drink to fight off the summer effects on body
Eaten with yoghurts
Mangosteen clafouti prepared using cornflour, and coconut milk is a delicious dessert.
It is moderately low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol which is good news. On the other hand, it is rich in dietary fiber – each piece of fruit will provide about 10% of daily requirement.
Mangosteen is good source of vitamin-C hence helps the body develop resistance to combat flu and help us get rid of free-radicals. Fresh fruit is a mild source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Further, it also contains good amounts of minerals like copper, manganese, and magnesium. thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
The longan meaning “dragon eyes” is so called because of the fruit resembles eyeball when it is peeled (see picture – the round white smooth ball with the black seed showing through the translucent flesh like the iris of the eye). The seed is small, round and hard like the popular lychee.
The fruit is delicious with a sweet(or sweet and sour – depending on the ripeness level) apart from eating it fresh, it is often used in soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods, either fresh or dried, sometimes canned with syrup in supermarkets. The seeds of fresh longan can be boiled and eaten too (though rare), with a distinctive nutty flavor. In China, Longan is used less as a food and more as a tonic. Also, it is not uncommon to eat it in dry form.
Longan fruit contains rich amount of Vitamin C that is equal to 80% of daily requirement. It also contains minerals like iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in Vitamin A and in essential anti-oxidants
5. Passion Fruit:
Pleasantly sweet and tart, Passion fruit is also known as granadilla, andis full of health benefits. Passions are native to subtropical wild regions of South America, probably originated in Paraguay but now exported extensively by south east asian countries hence usually forms a part of Thai fruits lists.
There is a religious story of why it is called passion fruit – It is said that the passion fruit was named so by Spanish catholic missionaries four centuries ago in Brazil as “flor passionis” (passion flower) for its purple flower which they believed resembled the five wounds of Christ.
"Granadilla flavoured drinks" are highly popular in Africa and the Middle East
Juice is occasionally obtained by cutting the fruit into two and boiling it.
Hawaiin Fresh Cream made from passion fruit juice, sugar, eggs and butter. When cool, it can be spread on slices of bread, poured onto crepes or used for cakes, doughnuts or parfait.
The yellow variety is generally filtered and then boiled with sugar to produce a thick syrup which is used in a variety of drinks.
Jams combining passion fruit with pineapple and mango are delicious
First let me demolish the myth that the name of “passion” fruit is due to aphrodisiacal effects – Some people claim that Passion fruit has aphrodisiacal properties but it has not been proved in any scientific studies.Irrespective of any scientific proof, if the belief itself makes it work for you, well, why not ignite some passion !! Eat the fresh fruit and enjoy.
You can also make it a part of fruit salads.
It is reported that the Aztecs used them for their relaxing effects. Perhaps owing to a substance called passiflorine, a natural tranquillizer.
Oil is extracted from the seeds of Passionfruit.
These fruits have found approval from palates of various cuisines and cultures across the globe and made Thailand famous for its produce international. Frugivore bringsto you these pieces of Thailand to your plate at competitive rates and in finest quality. If you are a regular consumer of Thai delights we will be happy to supply you those at further discounts – feel free to contact us (please visit contact us section at the top).
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