West of the Fields

A tropical ecologist reporting from the field. Musings on life and art, botfly extractions, tropical plant identification, beer, parrots, machetes. Etc.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Mamón chino, la fruta de los dioses

Bess told me I could post these photos as long as I used her title. It had been a very, very long day in the field, but fortunately we had some rambutans left. Mamón chino, they're called here, which translates more or less as "Chinese suckling things." Or maybe it doesn't translate. Anyway, rambutans, mamónes chinos, Nephelium ramboutan-ake, whatever you want to call it, is one of the best fruits around. They're native to Southeast Asia but widely naturalized here in Costa Rica. Their reddish skins, covered with hundreds of rubbery protruberances like a koosh ball, hardly look promising. You have to break them open and suck the sweet inside off the seed. They taste like strawberries and green grapes. I bought these from the gap-toothed man who sells fruit from the back of his pickup along the main street of Puerto Viejo.


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