Mystery Fruit: Rambutan (Or Eye Ball Fruit), Tasting Strange Things and Some Pictures of Cancun

One of the best things about travelling or relocating to a new country is eating and drinking.  Trying every new thing that you can.  Honestly, is there a better way to get to know a different culture?

As you may know, I’m in Cancun.  More “Bubba Gump’s All You Can Eat Shrimp Buffet” and McDonald’s than exotic cuisine.  But we are still in Mexico.  If you can’t find the local food in the hotel zone, a short bus ride away is the city of Cancun.  500,000 people, many who have moved to the area to work in this huge tourist destination, tons of shops and lots of street food & fruit and veggie carts.

Over the past year of blogging, I’ve tried both good and bad.  These black chicken tacos in Bacalar, Mexico are an example of the bad.  A sip of bitters from an older gentleman in Dangriga, Belize surprisingly good.

Pig tails?  Yes please.  Genitalia of conch?  Sure…why not?  Termites off a giant nest in Cayo?  Ugh…just one.

There is only one thing that I just couldn’t try…and that was sea turtle egg ceviche in Omoa, Honduras.  (Black clams on the right – delicious, sea turtle eggs on the left…sorry lil guys, you’ll never make it to the ocean.)

But I digress…

I’ve worked tirelessly (pause for sympathetic sighs…) over the past few years to try all the new fruits in Belize. Some I’ve never seen before, mystery fruits like cashew fruit and waxy apples, sour sop, craboo & seagrapes and more (all are listed under the label:  Mystery Fruits to the right.)

Here is one that I have tasted before (in Vietnam) but is probably new to lots of people.  It is sometimes available in Belize but widely available this time of year in most of Central America.

Hello, Rambutan.

A hairy pretty fruit that grows on a tropical tree.  It is native to southeast Asia and closely related to the lychee (often served from a can in sickly sweet syrup at your local Chinese place…that along with green tea ice cream and fortune cookies on their woefully short dessert list).   It’s rather unfruit-like in that it only ripens on the tree.  Once picked, it is what it is.

Someone spent a very long time stacking these babies in this cute little pyramid.  Especially for only $50 pesos a kilo.

Slice around the outer husk or use your finger nail to slice around it and inside is a fruit very similar in size and  texture to an eyeball.  (And before you ask, YES, I have held a cow’s eyeball.)

Pop it into your mouth and eat around the pit.

It tastes like the inside of a green grape with maybe a hint of honeydew melon.  Best when served cold.

Now let’s just all pray that they don’t start growing durian fruit in Central America.  I’m not ready to try that stuff again.  Ugh.

Scattered as usual.  I wonder if blogging is causing this ADD or if it is just helping to diagnosis it.

Another day in Cancun…and tomorrow, I have a trip to Isla Holbox to swim with 40 foot long WHALE SHARKS!

Does this whale shark make me look fat?




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  • Thanks for explaining about the fruit, but you never really said what it tastes like. Sweet? Sour? A bit of both? Similar to a kiwi? We need these deets! Glad you’re having fun, and no, the whale shark will make you look downright model-skinny, I’m betting. Cheers!

  • Me

    I’ll amend…they taste like the inside of green grapes with a side of honeydew to me. Not as crisp.

  • Chanel

    Hi
    I’m going to Cancun in september. where is the place that you found rambutan in cancun? do you still have the address? thanks 😀

    • Belize Blog

      It was literally right outside the Walmart in the city. There were lots of guys selling them…but not in the tourist area 🙁