Sunday, September 21, 2008

Freaky Fruit 10: The Great Jackfruit Quest

On my last day in HaNoi, I was on a mission. Over the past six weeks, I had managed to procure every fruit I cared to taste from the local markets - except the elusive JackFruit. With less than 24 hours left in the country, I scoured HaNoi.

JackFruit, is fascinatingly, a member of the mulberry family, and grow in big spiky pods, that sprout out of the side of a tree. Think of a spiky bright green chrysalis, more than a foot long.

Now, I had eaten Jackfruit in several processed forms. Dried jackfruit chips are like lovely, like dried apples, but with better texture because, they are almost entirely fiber and puff nicely. But i wanted to try the real thing, and by the time we got to Hue, things were getting desperate. I had not seen them in a local market in days. The first day in Hue, the breakfast buffet served them - all prepared! And they were so yummy! It gave me hope.

As we cycloed through the city that day, I glared at the passing fruit markets for a Jackfruit (they are big, and easy to spot) - NOTHING! I caught a fast glimpse of one hanging from a tree in the front of a house, but it looked a little small (eg. only 10in long). Hue offered me nothing!

My last day in HaNoi, I was on a critical mission. I went to three different outdoor markets - nothing. Two fancy grocery stores - nothing. Finally i settled for more jackfruit chips and pouted. I had managed to taste the yummy fruit, but not to haggle for it and triumphantly hack into it with my pen knife. :(

Although, I hoped to end this blog on a moment of triumph, I will just have to say thanks for reading. Over 120 people have tuned in! Being able to share with my friends and family at home kept me sane when I didn't have many people to talk with - and helped me dust the rust off my writing skills.

Thank you and Happy Travels!

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