This summer season, suddenly ubiquitous fruit, took a little bit of research. It’s not the prettiest fruit, so it never makes the “Beautiful Fruit of Thailand” Pinterest pics. And, the inside of the fruit is a layer of mystery.
Katorn in Thai, Santol in Spanish, suddenly for sale, next to green papaya and green mango, at the salad stalls in the markets. The nutrition is, unfortunately, concentrated in the bitter, sour skin, which is pealed away before chopping it up into the salad mortar and pestle.
I ordered one from my favorite salad lady in Mae Rim Plaza. First, she pounded some garlic, palm sugar, chili in the mortar. Lime juice, fish sauce, more pounding to soften the fruit, and it’s a salad, best with some sticky rice. So, the mystery was the inside. After cutting up the whole fruit, she tossed in what I assumed was the pit. Later, when I tried the salad, there was a slimy ball with pits inside in the salad. Doesn’t sound very appetizing, right? Frank actually thought it was a bit of squid. So I got some fruit to experiment . . .
After peeling it, the fruit is a beautiful peachy color, but it’s tough, bitter, sour and discolors quickly. Definitely not a fruit you pick off the tree and eat or throw in a smoothie. Then I cut one in half to find out what she threw in at the end. The inside has a white fluffy center, looks like a mangosteen. It is sweet and so delicious, as if a marshmallow and cotton candy got together and made fruit, but stuck close to the pit, making it difficult to eat. Now I understood the warnings I saw about eating katorn pits, often sending people to the ER with blocked or torn intestines. The salad is good, not my favorite, and, so far, that is the only way I’ve seen it eaten.
And now, the good fruit news. Since we arrived, I gave up ordering pomelo salad, so I waited for it show up in the markets. One day, riding my bike home, on the main road to our village, I see this.
A few people from our village, one women set up her salad table with a pile of pomelos!! I knew what I was having for dinner! Now, pomelos are everywhere. Even the security guys at school have a box for sale. In the market, they are sold peeled with a packet of chili sugar.
So, now for a quick update . . .
Frank is heading to NorCal today for a week. Our shopping list is shorter than expected.
School is getting hard, very hard, but still going well. The first midterm is coming up in October. Alex stuck it out with 4 High Level classes until this week, and is down to the recommended 3.
We have our visas. They are good for one year and now only require a check in every 3 months, which doesn’t have to be done in person. Now we can get a Letter of Residency so we can get Thai Drivers' Licenses, and a scooter!
We have a dentist. Two cleanings and check ups for the girls was 2200 baht, or about $75. Frank had a filling replaced, together with a cleaning and X-rays, ran about $100.
We’ve had a visit to the vet. Zeke was treated for a nasty hot spot, with a clean-up, a healthy shot of antibiotics, topical solution and some meds all ran 700 baht, about $20!! That would have been at least a $250 visit in Fairfax.
My next post will be about our first trip to Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai . . . wait, is this the Four Seasons??
I started Thai lessons. I’m about a week away from being able to read, but, of course, I won’t have any idea what I’m reading. Still, a handy tool for road trips. Plus, my teachers speaks fluent Japanese! A nice surprise.
The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos on Saturday in Mae Taeng, near Elephant Nature Park, and in Chiang Mai on Sunday. This takes place this weekend in multiple cities on every continent. There is one in SF, LA, Sac and SD, Hong Kong . . . check the website www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org if your interested.
We’re planning our first road trip since Zeke’s little adventure. Now that he's a flight risk, we’re trying trustedhousesitters.com, a network of referenced house sitters who just travel around the world and housesit. Sounds too good to be true, but it may just be a good fit for everyone.
Our tentative road trip itinerary is Pai to Mae Hong Son to Mae Sariang, then along the Burmese border to Mae Sot, over to Sukhothai. We’ll be putting pics on Instagram and my 2girls2dogs2cats Facebook page, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and like the blog’s FB page.
Also, if you like the elephant news, you can follow Elephant Nature Park and Lek Chailert on Facebook. She posts something almost everyday, mostly happy, muddy elephants playing in the water.
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And, finally, Happy 100th Birthday Chuck Williams! Here's a pic of us going through Nishiki Market in Kyoto, on our trip to Japan in April 1996.