Satisfying Street Stall Fruit

Satisfying Street Stall Fruit

Bought my first bag of fruit from a street vendor in LaLaLand. Sprinkled with some pico de gallo, a little salt and a squeeze of 2 limes, this $5 bag of fruit made me feel I’d ripped the vendor off¹! This $5 bag saved us both from dehydration. It’s so easy to get dehydrated in LA. It was cool on Thursday, which meant we got away with having about 4-5 drinks during the day. This needs to be increased to an hourly drink on hot and dry days, which is sometimes difficult if you’re juggling many experiments. And invariably leads to mild heat stroke and a sodding headache for the rest of the day. Oh, to be a camel.

The spiced and salted fruit also reminded me of a childhood of choosing fresh fruit over snicker bars just because it tasted so much better. We had street and food court hawkers of such a huge variety of fresh fruit that I never learned all the names. As an 8 year old, I swung between: “Aunty², can I have only watermelon?” and “Aunty, mixed bag please!”. Another favourite was guava with a 5-spice dip, to which P was recently introduced when we found some really small lime-sized guavas in the shop. Needless to say, instant convert to jazzed-up fruit³!

In yesterday’s mix: watermelon, mango, orange, melon and another melon/radish/turnip thing whose taste is familiar, but name is forgotten. It’s bugging me. We’ll just have to find the fruit vendor again.


¹ Relative sense of expense always increased when thinking in £ and shopping in Whole Foods.

² Aunty being a generic Singaporean way of showing respect to a lady older than yourself. Can sometimes be insulting to a lady who considers herself too young for the Aunty label. Use with caution. In fact, I think you can only use that as a kid. I dunno. It’s been a long time.

³ Guava is, in kind words, a hard, tart bastard. It makes a fantastic juice, and its use as flavouring in my new-favourite daifuku is enough for us to fight for the last one. But let’s be honest. It needs help to stop the insides of your mouth from turning into a desert.

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4 thoughts on “Satisfying Street Stall Fruit

  1. Jicama indeed! Thanks to your prompting, I’ve finally remembered why the taste was so familiar. It’s in rojak – a Singaporean/Malaysian salad of turnip, pineapple, cucumber, fried bean curd, youtiao (chinese churros), a spicy belacan-based sauce and lots and lots of peanuts. Ah, the memories of late-night rojak. Eaten at supper when the entire family got the munchies and drove out to Newton Circus for rojak and tauhu goreng…

    I know jicama as bangkwang, and never knew its other name. Oh, it’s been bugging me all day and I can finally get it out of my head…

    Jicama / bangkwang is also the magic ingredient of pohpiah. When stewed with dried shrimp, it softens into a mellow-sweet filling. The lack of bangkwang is what has prevented me from making pohpiah all these years. Now I know I can get it in LA, all I have to do is learn how to make pohpiah skin… (Summon the pancake/crepe expert in the family: the P man!)

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