Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm a little intimidated by the food here

If ever the Mister and I need a reminder that we are living in a foreign country, we just need to head to the grocery store. Granted, there are a lot of familiar objects like Ritz crackers and ramen noodles, but there are SO many new things, every time we go grocery shopping, it's like walking down the Silk Road with friggin' Marco Polo! There are spices I never knew existed, lots of new smells, and not a single Rice a Roni or Hamburger Helper in the whole joint!

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:

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.

Vicariously yours,

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