Being geographically located in the tropical zone, Vietnam is truly a heaven when it comes to fruits. One who first comes to the country will be amazed at the countless number of colorful fruits sold at a very reasonable price in every street and market all year round.
Mango – Xoài
Mango is a nutrition-packed fruits and the Vietnamese one may be very different from what you have experienced in your local grocery stores.
Mangostreen – Măng cụt
As small as a tennis ball with the dark violet cover, mangosteen is the unique fruit of South East Asia region. Using a sharp knife to peel off the rough upper part, you will see the white pulp arranged in equal segments. The meat of the fruit is heavenly delicious, soft sour and sweet, creating the light and pure refreshment. Mangosteen is sold widely in southern Vietnam.
Rambutans – Chôm Chôm
Originated from Malaysia, rambutan looks like a sea creature with the soft fleshy hair from 2 to 3 cm long over the entire surface. After breaking off the reddish outer shell, the white and tender meat will appear together with the wonderful sweet flavor. In Vietnam, rambutan is grown most in Vinh Long Province, during rainy season.
Durians – Sầu riêng
At first, one may find durian’s smell extremely unpleasant (to the extent that most airlines have to ban passengers from carrying this fruit on board). Yet if you can eat it, you will love it.
Pineapples – Dứa
Summer in tropical land comes along with bright sunshine and extremely hot climate, and it is also the season of pineapple, the fruit with yellow meat that is grown all over Vietnam. In southern Vietnam, people call it “thom” of “fragant fruit” for its strong sweet smell when ripening. There are a wide range of products made from pineapple sold in the market: canned juice, pineapple liquor, and sweet preserved pineapple
Dragon fruit – Thanh long
Dragon fruit, which may weigh up to 0.5kg with pink or dark red cover, has recently been cultivated in Vietnam. Its cover can be peeled off easily when the fruit is ripe, revealing the white gelatinous meat. The pulp contains countless tiny black seeds that cannot be extracted, giving the sweet and sour taste.
Star apple – Vú sữa
Special as its name (“Vu sua” means “milk from the breast” in Vietnamese), star apple is one of the fruits that have the most marvelous taste: its juice is fragrantly sweet and milky white like breast milk. The way people enjoy this fruit is also very strange. After cutting the fruit into two equal parts, we will use a spoon to scoop out the pulp, bit after bit, until nothing is left. Star apple is grown most in Can Tho, where tourists can visit star apple orchard and try the fruit there.
Papaya – Đu đủ
Although papaya is sold widely at a very low price all over Vietnam, this sweet smelling fruit in fact contains various minerals and vitamin A and C that are very good for your health. There are a few kinds of papaya: one with red meat and with yellow or orange meat, depending on the growing land. Vietnamese also use unripe papaya in some cuisines such as salad or soup.
Sapodilla – Hồng Xiêm
Being imported to Vietnam from Central America a long time ago, sapodilla has become quite popular nowadays in the recent 20 years. This fruit is grown mostly in northern Vietnam, with the shape of an egg and brownish skin. When ripe, the brown and yellow pulp is very juicy and has a molasses-like taste.
Jackfruit – Mít
The size of a jack fruit is relatively large compared to other fruits. Its skin is covered in thorns like durians but the flesh is divided into smaller yellow pouches. The seeds inside each pouch can be roasted or boiled and make a delicious snack while the flesh of jackfruit is the main edible part.
Coconut – Dừa
The coconut juice, besides being served as a refreshment, can be used in many Vietnamese dishes, especially to give the broth or sauted sauce a natural sweet flavour. Desserts made from either coconut juice or flesh are always popular as well.
Coconut can be easily found in the market or on the streets, especially in summer time. Imagine having a sip of the fresh coconut juice and relax yourself on one of the best beaches in the world: welcome to Vietnam!