Thai Snapshot: My Fruit Obsession


I’ve become a bit obsessed with these fruits: mangosteen, rambutans, and salak. The salaks look distinctively like a pair of testicles that have just completed a one mile swim in Antarctica.

That’s not why I like them, though!

Okay—that is why I like them …

But not for eating. When I’m upset, I put them in my fist and crush them.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Totally kidding!

Sort of.

Et cetera …

What is your favourite tropical fruit that looks like genitalia?

Torre DeRoche is the author of two travel memoirs, Love with a Chance of Drowning (2013) and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World (due out September 2017). She has written for The Atlantic, The Guardian Travel, The Sydney Morning Herald, Emirates, and two Lonely Planet anthologies.

Leave a Comment

  • Jade Craven May 4, 2012, 1:57 am

    Need. to. go. to. Thailand!

    I love wacky fruit. I used to wait until they were seasonal and pay excessively high prices just to try new ones 🙂 It drives me nuts that I can’t find loquats anywhere it stores – I’ve bought a tree so I can have them in my own place 🙂

    Awesome fruit is a totally a good reason to travel 😉

  • Leigh May 4, 2012, 3:28 am

    Love love love rumbutans – which I was always told were called “hairy cherries.” Kinda gross. But my all-time favorite fruit when I lived in Bangkok: dragon fruit. You should definitely get your hands on one.

    Enjoy Thailand.

  • Eric Nepomnaschy May 4, 2012, 3:34 am

    hey you!
    had one of my patients yesterday ask me if I knew or was related to you!

  • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 4, 2012, 1:24 pm

    I’m still laughing about your description of salak! Now I want to eat one or crush two 😉

  • Hannah May 4, 2012, 6:05 pm

    Bwahaha! I am so buying some of these as soon as I get to Thailand. To crush or not to crush… that is the question 🙂

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures May 4, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Hahaha they look so good!

  • Meg | One Love Meg May 6, 2012, 9:06 am

    I’ve never had any of these!! Where have I been? I’ll try them on my travels. I’ll make sure of it!

  • Denise May 7, 2012, 12:56 am

    hahahahahahahaha – that’s all I can say

  • Aniko May 9, 2012, 10:22 pm


    Wait… Is that a tropical fruit? 😀

    I love love love mangosteem! The best fruit I ever tried in Asia.

  • Jan Bass May 10, 2012, 3:27 am


    No explanation needed, I hope.

  • Michi June 17, 2012, 2:34 pm

    Tropical fruit has to be one of my favorite things. I have so many memories of wandering through shady Central American markets as a child with my mom, and trying varieties of strange, new fruits until I was full up! I’d love to try southeast Asian fruit!

  • Clare Edwards June 23, 2012, 9:34 am

    Lychees are rather red and dingly dangly, but let’s face it – you can’t really go past the old banana – the original genitalia like tropical fruit.

  • Sara June 24, 2012, 2:30 pm

    i luv “salak” fruit very much!

  • Cath August 13, 2012, 12:53 am

    Maybe you’ll love the lansones in the Philippines. Not sure if the Thais do have one.. But rambutans are especially nice when juicy and in season they’re extra sweeet! 🙂

  • Sophy Akin August 14, 2012, 6:16 am

    I love mangosteen and rambutan but I haven’t heard nor tasted salak. How does it taste? There are other tropical fruits I’m sure you will love like mangoes, lanzones and suha.