Small fruit guide
Needless to say that fruits here are wonderful. You just walk out into the street and on almost every corner you find fruit sellers or "phal wallah" offering their merchandise on their handcarts, using small, old-fashioned scales or simply selling fruits by the piece.
Apart from the not so exotic or now widespread fruits, such as melon, honeydew melon, bananas, apples, pears, pineapples, you have a huge variety of funny looking exotic fruits as well.
Guava is either whitish-yellowish in colour, or pink, it is a bit smaller than a tennis ball and has tiny, hard but edible seeds on the inside. Its taste is fresh, slightly citrus like but different from all the fruits we usually find in Europe.
Chikoo looks like round small potatoes from the outside with its earth-like colour and has hard, black seeds that can vary from one to four in number. Its texture is like that of pears with its tiny, stoney particles but the taste is more like that of medlar, deeply earthy with a bit of sweetness to it.
Citrus fruits are also different, they call orange what we call mandarine and what tastes like orange are mosambi for them. (Would be sweet lemon for us, green on the outside and sweet and sour in taste.) They also do not have lemon, only lime but they consider it a vegetable as they use it mostly in cooking.
Pomegranate is very deep in colour, smaller than the ones we find at home and it's so ripe that when squeezed like an orange, the pink seeds fall out from the skin by themselves.
And then you have papaya which again is nothing like the ones you can buy in Europe. They are not so big and their skin can vary from green to yellow and orange in colour, and are so ripe and sweet that it almost melts in your month when you take a bite. (Interestingly the ones we have bought so far had none of the black, shiny seeds that you would find in a papaya normally.)
The big surprise for me was custard apple which I thought I didn't like but tried again and it turned out that it's a delicious fruit. It looks so funny, like a bee-hive made up of small parts that start falling apart when the fruit is very ripe. On the inside, you have small, hard, black seeds, you have to suck the fruit off these seeds and there is a little more fruit on the inside of the skin. And it is by no chance that this fruit is called the custard apple as the texture is that of a pudding and it's very sweet in taste.
And of course there are a lot of others we cannot eat at the moment because they are not is season but are just as delicious, such as physalis, litchi, passion fruit and my all-time favourite, mangoes. I guess I'll just have to come back again to eat them all.
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My month in Pune, India