taste the rainbow

I thought I'd gotten used to "weird foods"--I've eaten snake, after all. And as far as fruit goes--I can eat my weight. In fact, one of the things I love most about Vietnamese cuisine/culture is the part where we all sit around after the meal and eat fruit and drink Vietnamese green tea. This is a pretty traditional habit; but in my family it's a fairly consistent nightly occurrence. Thus I've tried a plethora of fruits--from familiar (boring) things like apples, to things that look like they must come from other planets--hot pink dragon fruit; spiky, red rambutans; bumpy custard apples; and green oranges. Often, I find myself eating fruits I don't know the English names of; for all I know, some of them don't even have English names.

After more than 8 months of exposure to phenomena like these, I usually don't even glance twice at strange-looking fruit, but tonight was an exception. I was pleasantly shocked when, after supper, Co Van produced, from a large pot on the stove, purple sweet potatoes! I never even knew such a thing existed! (I find it interesting that the disfigurement of a known element is often more shocking than the appearance of a completely foreign one.) They were steamed to perfection and required no condiments. Mine was by far the most delicious and beautiful thing I have consumed in awhile, especially considering that purple might be my new favorite color.

Isn't it great when shockingly colored food does not necessarily have to imply a warning against its countless preservatives, unnatural dyes, and surplus sugar? I think so. It's just so much more fun this way! Of course, Vietnamese people are deathly afraid of pesticides (especially from Chinese-grown fruit), but this mostly means that even the most pain-in-the-butt types of fruit are washed multiple times and painstakingly peeled. At home, I would probably be far to lazy to put in the effort it takes to eat these exotic fruits; but here, they aren't exotic, and preparing them is an everyday task. (One that has rarely been assigned to me since my mango-peeling episode, and due to the fact that Vietnamese are naturally dubious of any foreigner's fruit-cutting ability.)

I'll taste this rainbow any day.

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME. How about next time you do a post about all the red fruits, then all the yellow ones, then all the (insert Vietnamese ellipses)