Cherimoya, Dragonfruit, Carambola and One Life Betwixt Two Lands

After reading Cultures’ Chord by Hindustanka, a blog that discusses the complexities of “Living in diversity… cultural mix and… life betwixt two lands,” I missed my sunny Dominican Republic.

Hindustanka, a Russian friend who married an Indian man and relocated to her husband’s country, explained how after delighting on her first bits of Indian food she found that her “tongue as well as ears were on fire!” She suggests that foreign persons choosing India as a permanent home will probably have some difficulties doing so if they “cannot stand spices.” I nodded at the sentiment.

Her post left me feeling all kinds of food nostalgia. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, I was used to finding my snacks in the yard, the kitchen garden, or in the fields if my tummy craved something more substantial. I remember walking the few kilometers between home and school, and sneaking into other people’s fields for a snack of guava, tamarind or manzana de oro (golden apple)—Ms. Nené, I confess, I was the one eating your manzanas de oro. It’s the reason why I never let you tip me after I carried your water from the well. *cough, cough, cough*

Back to the nostalgia… the reading made me miss Dominican flavors so much that for Mother’s Day I told my nephew (aka my Boy) that I wanted no surprise presents—I wanted food. My Piano Man, my Boy and I (the Little Princess spent the day with her bio Mom) went to Jardín de China: Authentic Chinese and Spanish Food, and I had pica pollo (fried chicken Dominican style).

Then we went shopping. First stop was the botánica, to get a Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia candle to light for my Grandmother. After that we got fruits that took me back to the Caribbean (and a bit of Asia *cough*): I went home with a bag full of cherimoya, dragonfruit, carambola, Haitian mangoes… It was a delight to see my Piano Man’s face the first time he tried cherimoya. “It tastes like candy,” he said. And I smiled knowingly because cherimoya is also known as custard apple.
 

I miss Dominican foods and fruits often. And it was so difficult getting used to the tastes of the United States when I first got here—my palate found them bland, pale, without personality, and too foreign to be any good (my palate was a rather prejudiced little bastard *blinks*).

Things have changed quite a bit in two decades. Today, I love grapes, strawberries, raspberries (and all those things I couldn’t afford in my homeland). My tummy also delights in dragon fruit, lychee, rambutan and many other delicious fruits I never tasted while in the Dominican Republic. Yep, my palate and I are quite happy with New York City’s diverse fruit basket.

Now, if I can only sink my teeth into some caimito and cashew and mamey and pretty much everything on this page (my formerly prejudiced tummy hasn’t stopped being greedy *sigh*).
What are your favorite fruits, my Wicked Luvs? And if you live away from home, what tastes do you miss most? Are there any cashew trees in your yard? If so, do email me your home address and harvesting schedule *wicked grin*

32 comments:

  1. When I just read your post's title.. I was like, oh, she is also betwixt two lands... and then I read my nickname... I am so sorry to disturb your Dominican taste but hey it made you search for delights and get your Piano Man introduced to your country's flavours!!!
    I bet I didn't try even half of the fruits you yummily showcased... I know that ceshew nuts grow in Goa here. Rest... I am a little frustarted at how little variety of fruits here in the market this season. Mostly bananas, apples, now is mango season (mango became one of my favorite fruits), watermelon. Recently I also discovered Loquat! mmmm... delicious, juicy, they say you can make jams and wine with it! But its season will be gone soon.I like orange, pineapple, and anything juicy.
    Hope now you will be buying favorite fruits more frequently :) We shall pamper ourselves!

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    1. I LOVE your post, hence I wrote about it. We never know how much we love the things we can get in our native lands until we leave them. It was nice to see how you got (and still getting) adjusted to your new homeland--it's the same with me.

      My Piano Man and I have introduced each other to many new things, and it's magical every time.

      And yes, I need to go to the Korean markets more often. Yum!

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    2. Totally yay! to pampering ourselves. ;-D

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  2. I love Hindustanka's blog and I'm in awe of her fortitude, a Russian living in India and writing in english about her newly exotic life. It's an eye opener! I have, by comparison, the very minor muddles that go with a Brit living in the USA and assuming the english language is the same in both place. It's not, but Hubby and I are learning. As for fruit, I know England isn't considered the Garden of Eden,but there are little things I miss. Gooseberries, for instance. Can't make gooseberry fool without gooseberries. Or greengages. (Love those! A tartly sweet green plum) Cooking apples. How the hell did the USA get a reputation for apple pie, without cooking apples? Is it just because I'm in Arkansas? On the other hand, I can get pecans just by scooping them up off the ground. And peaches.

    Custard apples! Love those things! I'm so happy you got to feast on all those fruits, with all their memories. The sticky fingers of childhood!

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    1. Rhissanna I am blusing :)
      I am originating from a country which also doesn't have such variety of fruits as India and tropical countries do. I think that England has many other things to offer in a sense of food. I recently made a shortcrust pie with grapes ( it had to be apples, but..:)) Moreover somehow our modern world is so open now we can get almost any fruit anywhere we live.
      But isn't it amazing that we can adjust everywhere?

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    2. Hindustanka is brilliant and shiny, too. And that enormous brain and heart of hers can do magic.

      You need to come to New York, so the we can walk around Flushing (in Queens) and China Town. I'm convinced they stole the Hogwarts Express and send it to exotic non US lands (like England) and bring back all kinds of goodies. One of my favorite summer pastimes (and winter when I brave the cold) is go to the Korean markets to try new fruits and other yums. When you visit, we'll conquer all the tastes together. And make decent apple pie--yes, we can find cooking apple; by the ton around Thanksgiving.

      I remember custard apples sticky fingers (we called the fruit mamón, by the way, which means "sucker" maybe because of the sticky fingers that need expert cleaning). We used to eat the fruit and, as it should be expected of sweet children, we pelted each other with the seeds. ;-D

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    3. @Hindustanka, shortcrust grape pie? YUM, YUM, YUM!!! Brilliant. ;-D

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    4. And on the food note again - yesterday me and D were watching how they make caramel apples...yumm! Yes,! Try shortcrust pastry recipe (it is so easy) when you and your body are ready for some calorie filled yumminess. Ok, this is my last comment on the post, otherwise someone might think it is a food blog :)

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  3. I am plain and simple...I love my raspberries...so I grow my own...and wild strawberries..tiny little red berries like drops of blood that taste so intense they tingle on your tongue(rarely make it to the kitchen). I grew up eating blackberries from hedgerows, so I grow them too lol. I just loved seeing my children picking and eating the berries as they played...real magic in my gardens :D XXX

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    1. "tiny little red berries like drops of blood that taste so intense they tingle on your tongue" I really want to fly to your garden this very second! I WANTS to taste some garden magic. ;-D

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  4. I miss fruit. All the fruit here is imported, and both very expensive and of dubious quality. There are two types of native berries that grow on the Islands called Diddledee and Teaberries. Diddledee is similar to a redcurrant and makes a good jam, and teaberries are sweet with a hint of nutmeg. Very yummy, but seasonal.

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    1. Lack of plenty of fruit is one of the few things me (and my digestive system) have a hard time adjusting to.

      Teaberries sound like such interesting tasting bits!

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  5. I live in the country I was born and grew up in, so there's nothing to miss.
    Local supermarkets sell a whole variety of exotic fruits here and my daughter and I went through a phase of having to try out absolutely everything. Dragon fruit was the most amazing to look at, and of course an unexpected surprise on the inside...but the taste...nope.

    I do love fruits that make a homely pie, like blackberries, gooseberries, cooking apples, blackcurrants and redcurrants...actually, we don't call them pies here, we call them tarts. A pie is usually meat-filled.

    My daughter's favourite fruits are strawberries, mango and passion fruit. Me, I love blackberries and raspberries....and watermelon :)

    I love Hindustanka's post and quite like the sound of fruit with salt and pepper.

    I eat watermelon with ham, spinach and cream-cheese. It's really quite delicious :)

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    1. You get gooseberries? *whines and paws screen*

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    2. In New York, you can find anything if you know where to look...

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  6. My first fruit love is Apricots, followed by Plums, Cranbrries, Cherries, Pineapple, Strawberries, ANY berries, ANY melons. O gods this will be a never-ending list.

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    1. I think I'm going on a pineapple binge right about now...

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  7. Cherries are my favorite fruit. What I miss most about the area of Michigan I spent high school are the Lake Perch fish fries.

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    1. I must be hungry. I seem to want everything everyone is listing. Or maybe I'm just fruit-greedy, lol!

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  8. I like cherimoyas, except for those hard black seeds.

    I have been living on mangoes and bananas lately, as I'm poor and they're cheap.

    But the best. They very best. The most delectable fruit of all.

    Is a nice ripe persimmon.

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    1. I've been collecting the cherimoya seeds. Did you know they turn gold, if you let them dry? They look like opaque caramel. So pretty.

      Mango is the fruit of the gods. I'm convince.

      I like my persimmons not so ripe, but a little crunchy. But yes, yum, yum, yum.

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    2. I did not know that about cherimoya sseds. Now I need to start collecting them.

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  9. My favorite fruit is white peach, but only when it has been allowed to ripen on the tree - and that only happens in warmer climates. When I'm in the south of France I can eat goat cheese and white peaches all day.

    My favorite berry is blackberry because of the color and the subtle taste. Although Swedish strawberries are also heavenly, nothing like the big tasteless ones one gets in warmer countries.

    In our garden we have black currants, red currants, gooseberries, plums and apples. In the green house we have grapes.

    I don't know much about more exotic fruits and have never heard of most of the fruits you talk about. It's mind boggling to think that there's a whole world of other tasty fruit out there, just waiting to be tasted :)

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    1. Now we have a list of things to do when you come to the East Coast of the US: (1) wear a sexy red dress, (2) go fruit tasting...

      The list keeps on growing!

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  10. Exotic Gal! Bland on Ice! that's what I've for for you.......where I live , if it isn't a sneeze away from rotting, or costing a small fortune your vivid imagination will compensate .
    I don't remember what chicken really tastes like, although I splurged and treated myself with Cornish hens...guilt filled in every bite, but this reminded me chicken doesn't taste like cardboard.
    Okay! I love raspberries. My Nana would let venture off on my own ( that's where that began) in her garden and ate my fill! Happy memory
    xoDebi

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    1. I can't stop laughing at "I don't remember what chicken really tastes like," LOL!

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  11. Great post Magaly ;o) I think leaving your home, you would miss the food, you grew up with. I am still in Canada, so, I don't miss nothing yet! LOL! But, I would miss mom's home cooking, especially the homemade bread, perogies, cabbage rolls, dough wrapped in beat leaves and cooked in the oven with cream and garlic (to die for). I have to stop talking! LOL! , I love granny apples, bananas, strawberries, cherries, watermelon, raspberries. We have two black berry bushes in the back. The fruit from them is good ;o)
    Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Now I'm drooling thinking about homemade bread.

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  12. Oh, I saw Ray today! My heart swooned! I can't take this! LOL!

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    1. Obviously you can, lol! *doing a happy dance for you*

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  13. No I can't! LOL! He gives great hugs ;o) And, made a nice comment about my boobs ;o) LOL!

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