We shop at a grocery store that caters more to the Indian/Bangladeshi/Filipino expats of Saudi Arabia rather than actual Saudis, so not everything we see is unique to Saudi Arabia. But boy is it still weird!
Case in point:
The purple mangosteen.
I spotted this freakish fruit in our first few trips to the grocery store, and I really wanted to buy it...but I was too intimidated. I didn't know if you peel it, boil it, juice it, or all three! I wasn't sure which parts were edible and/or tasty. So I just watched in envy as the Thai, Filipino and Indonesian grocery patrons snatched these bad boys up.
Then the newest addition to the English staff--who had lived in Indonesia for two years and enjoyed the mangosteen frequently--introduced me to the odd fruit.
As you can see, this fruit has very little in common with the mango. In fact, in all my extensive research (read: scanning the wikipedia article), I couldn't find any relationship between the mango and the mangosteen.
Anyway, you're probably wondering how you go about eating this bad boy. Lemme show you.
There's kind of a hard shell, which you punch through with your thumb.
Then you kinda dig down a little bit and pull the bright pink, juicy rind away from the fruit.
The white part is the edible part. It's in sections, like an albino mandarin orange encapsulated in a fleshy pink crust. It's really really juicy.
I kind of tastes like really highly concentrated mixed fruit Kool-Aid. It's very very sweet, so it's a good thing the edible part is so small.
So there you have it folks, a food item that I'd never experienced until coming to Saudi Arabia.