Thailand is known as the land of smiles but its also the land of fruits. We actually have a saying in Thailand that says “Nai Naam Mee Pla, Nai Naa Mee Khao”, which translates to “in the water there’s always fish, in the fields there’s always rice”. Meaning that Thailand is always abundant in its natural resources, especially with the edibles. In fact, geographically Thailand is in the tropics and is blessed with amazing tasting fruits all year round. However, it is important to know the different variations and when it is actually best to enjoy them in their prime state.
One of the greatest things about Thailand, for certain fruits, we have them all year round. Even if its not their season! So for all you travellers out there, we understand that you could not always pick and choose your holidays to be in lined with our fruit seasons. So we would like recommend trying these “all year round fruits”:
1. Dragon Fruit (Kaew Mang-Gorn)
Best season: May to August
The dragon fruit, the name does speaks for itself. This crazy looking fruit does look like a dragon egg. In fact, the dragon fruit is the fruit of a particular type of cactus called Hylocereus. The fruit usually has a pink skin, with a white with small black seeds which are totally edible on the inside.
The texture of this fruit is somewhat sweet, crunchy and a little tangy, almost similar to a kiwi.
When ripe enough the skin is easily torn open, otherwise slice lengthways and squeeze the fruit from its skin.
2. Bananas (Kluay)
There are 3 main types of Kluays in Thailand:
– Kluay Hom (fragrant banana)
– most “common” looking bananas, generally much larger in size.
– Best Season: All year round
– Kluay Naam-Wa
– The fat-shorten looking ones. These Naam-Wa bananas are great for dessert like snacks due to its rich and creamy texture.
– Best Season: January to March
– Kluay Khai
– They are the smallest ones of the bunch. Given its size, they are generally much sweeter than Kluay Naam-wa and Kluay Hom.
– Best Season: August to November
Caution: If you are planning to buy the whole bunch of them, make sure you pick the less ripen ones otherwise they will be over ripen and turn black in the next day or two.
3. Jackfruit (Ka-noon)
Best season: January to August
This fruit can be found throughout Thailand and is unique to the South and Southeast Asian region of the world. The fruit is very large with a thick and rough exterior. Do not be fooled by its menacing appearance, the yellow flesh on the inside is wonderful. The texture is a little rubbery with a sweet lingering taste that is truly unique.
4. Papaya (Ma-la-gor)
Best season: January – June, October to December
The core behind one of the most popular Northeastern Thai Dish, the Papaya Salad or Som Tum. Som Tum utilizes the unripen stage of the Thai green papaya. However, the normal ripen orange colored papaya is a common favorite amongst the Thais.
Its soft texture compliments its sweet and sour taste. You’ll find this almost at every street fruit stall all over the country. Try squeezing a bit of lime on it, it will really bring out the flavors!
5. Watermelon (Tang Mo)
Best Season: February to April, July to September
92% water 6% sugar. What is not to love about this refreshing fruit. The Thai watermelon is found almost everywhere. If you want the entire fruit to yourself, be sure to visit local markets nearby. Enjoy ordering watermelon smoothies in Thailand throughout the entire year!
6. Guava (Fa-Rang)
Best Season: All year round, except for May
Oh, Farang aka. Guava. There are many myths of why Thai people call foreigners as the fruit guava. One of the main theory is that the Thais back in the earlier days of trading with the French did not know to pronounce the word “français”. So the easiest way out of this conundrum is to find a replacement word for the French foreigners.
The taste and texture of a natural Guava is slightly acidic, crisply bitter on the surface with a hint of sweetness on the inside. The locals often dipped slices of Guava with sugar and chilli flakes to compliment its taste.
However, if you are buying Guava that is more unnaturally green in colour and is super sweet. Then you are experience the sweetened Guava which has been marinated in syrup. There is nothing wrong with it as it is just another way that Thai people like to consume Guava. If you are adventurous enough, be sure to try both!
7. Tangerines (Som)
Best Season: January to February, October to December
Tangerines aka the Thai oranges with the green exterior are a local favorite. Fun fact, much like English and other languages, the word for the color orange is the same for the fruit (in the Thai case, tangerines). These are plentiful all year round. Now to order orange/ tangerine juice, all you have to say is:
“Kor Naam Som Kaan tee Neung krub/ka.”
Kor = to ask for
Naam = Water
Som = orange/ tangerine
Kaan = juiced
Tee = place
Neung = one
Krub/ Ka = polite ending. Krub is for the boys/men whilst Ka is for the girls/women.
8. Coconut (Ma Phrao)
Best Season: March to July, September
Last but not least, (almost) Everybody’s favourite, there is truly something special about the Thai coconut. Its sweet delicious interior and the exotic exterior truly reminds you that you are in the tropics. Well guess what guys, we have these here, all year round!! Always remember to scoop out the delicious coconut flesh on the inside after you’ve quenched your thirst.
Be sure to follow us for future posts on the seasonal fruits of Thailand!
From all of us at Chao Hostel, Sawasdee krub!