Jack Fruit? Lychee? Kumquats?

Depending on the season, the fruit stands here in Madagascar are piled with a wide variety of fruits that I have enjoyed trying this last year. Some were ones I was already familiar with, while others were completely new. Here are some of the highlights.

Bananas are plentiful here and available all year around. Some are big (I mean, really big) some are tiny and every size in between. They come in red, brown, yellow and green. On the street, you can buy bananas that have been covered in batter and fried.
Jack fruit: The most fascinating fruit I have seen yet is Jack Fruit. First of all, it is huge! I remember the first time I saw it and asked Pastor D’s wife what in the world it was. She explained it was a fruit that grows on trees. I immediately decided there is no way these huge things can grow on a tree and figured maybe I hadn’t asked the question right and had gotten an answer for something else. Then, going to the coast in December, I saw it, growing in trees. I must say I was disappointed after trying it. It has to be one of my least favorite foods here.

Peaches: They peaches here are amazing, especially because they aren’t fuzzy like the ones in the States. The small red ones are the best in my book.
Mangos: Mangos come in green, red and yellow. In general I don’t like them because of their stringy insides, though the small red ones are great and not very stringy.
Avocados: I still can’t believe how many avocados are on the stands here and have been for forever. I still prefer them in a salad or sandwich, American style, as opposed to mashing them up with a spoon and adding sugar, Malagasy style.
Papaya: I love the tall, skinny papaya trees with a small spread of leaves at the top and a ring of papayas growing under the leaves. When I first came, I categorized them with cantaloupe which I can’t stand, but now, I am excited that it is once again papaya season. They grow on you. J

Oranges: The oranges are delicious and even eaten when they are still green.
Pineapple: Still one of my favorite fruits here, which I have yet to see growing in a field. I am keeping my eyes open for a pineapple field next time I travel since I am dying to see one!
Apples: The apples are usually green and very small, they remind me of granny smith apples (a much smaller version anyway)

Pomegranate: One of the neatest fruits here is the pomegranate, though they are hard to find here in the capital city. They have the most amazing texture!
Kumquats: I have saved my two favorites for last. My love of kumquats began when I was here in 2008 and is still going strong. They are just now making a comeback to the fruit stands. Yes!
Lychee: And lastly, my all time favorite is the Lychee. I remember sitting around Pastor D’s table with his wife and some of the teens and staring at the inside of my first ever Lychee, thinking it looked and felt just like a huge, puffy, white larva. Surprisingly, they are my favorites and I can’t wait for November and December to roll around again.

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