New Worlds Have New Fruits — and New Challenges

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake,
zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.
— Jim Davis

On our recent trip to Ecuador we received a lovely plate of fruit in our room at the delightful Casa Gangotena in Quito. The pieces of fruit were flawless, aromatic, and ready to enjoy. Fortunately for us the plate was accompanied by a small brochure naming and describing each of the fruits.

Nothing says "Welcome" like a plate of local fruits.

Nothing says “Welcome” like a plate of local fruits.

Some were recognizable – like the orange and the toy sized banana. Others were clearly fruit but unlike anything I had ever eaten before.

The green one was full of seeds like a pomegranate, but it had white pulp around hundreds of small black seeds. The brochure indicated that I should open the peel, suck out the white pulp and crunch up the seeds left behind. I tried this approach without much success or reward for the effort as the pulp was not especially flavorful (for my tastes anyway). And crunching seeds usually only gives me the annoyance of picking seed bits out of my teeth for hours afterwards. So I didn’t continue with that specimen.

The little cherry tomato imposters were not particularly sweet or sour, but neither were they a memorable disappointment. The pear shaped fruit (lower right corner) seemed to be a relative of the mango, and similarly difficult to separate from its pit.

While we were in Ecuador we enjoyed many examples of mango and pineapple, both tasting very local as pineapple does in Hawaii. But those were in restaurants. This plate presented, as I said, mostly things I did not recognize.

I did truly enjoy the orange and the toy banana, which tasted just as I expected them to taste. I do enjoy trying new fruits but the Old Reliables usually end up being the most satisfying. Have you had similar encounters with local, previously unknown edibles?


Boundaries divide. Travel unites.

7 January 2016

About Travel Unites

A travel agent since 1994, I want people to get together for greater understanding across boundaries.
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