The Best Fruit You've Never Eaten

One thing we've loved about being in Costa Rica is all the tropical produce that we get to eat. We've enjoyed incredibly ripe, sweet watermelon and mangoes, and have had no trouble picking out a ripe avocado — they're all ripe. The pineapple is unbelievable — when it doesn't have to travel 3,000 miles, it's juicy and aromatic in a way that we just don't get in Massachsuetts.

But our favorite fruit of all?

The mamón chino:

This is a tropical tree fruit with no real English translation. It's like a small, delicious treat from another planet. It's red spiny-ness is only the beginning. Once you dig in a thumbnail and peel back the skin, you see this:

The picture doesn't quite do it justice, but it's like a smooth, alien eyeball. When you bite into one, the texture is like that of a peeled grape, but the fruit is juicier and sweeter, with no acidity. There's also an almond-like pit inside:

Your job is to eat it quickly, before the juice gets all over your hands. I wasn't super-successful with that aspect of it while taking photos:

This is high season for the mamón chino, so they are cheap and plentiful at local fruit stands. Around town you can see lots of discarded peels, because it's a popular street snack:

Half of the pleasure is eating something that looks so creepy, yet having it be so delicious. We're on what will probably be our last bag — at least until we come back to Costa Rica some day. If you ever have the opportunity to try one, be sure to take advantage!


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