Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Plaza Chronicles 3 - Mystery Fruits

Can you name this fruit?

I made my noon-day trip to The Plaza just to catch up on the happenings, see what’s new and grab a bite to eat. I usually walk through The Plaza, buy and eat lunch and then shop before going back to work. Somehow, most days, I feel like a butterfly. I land in one spot to eat, usually the same area, and then have to leave prematurely, shop then sit again before leaving.

Today again my lunch spot was invaded by vagrant who was in the mood to strip, it seems. I was enjoying this spot, watching a family eat and feed a little toy dog soft tacos. This was a nice cool spot with a canopy of leaves and covering on the side by a bus stop. Because of this invasion and display I decided to move, again prematurely.

I walked around to see what there or what was missing. Some of the fruit vendors were missing but many other vendors of interest was there. I walked around and ended up in the front of The Plaza area by the busiest fruit stand. This kiosk is located right on the corner of the busy intersection. Two bus lines pick up and discharge passengers right in front of it. This spot opened a few months ago before the weather changed and as many vendors converge. They served fruits in containers, ready to eat, whole fruits and other items as available and would withstand the weather. Now they have spread their goods all around the cart – all 4 sides. Today the variety of items was staggering – whole pineapples and cantaloupes and coconuts were added to the generous supply of other smaller seasonal fruits. Let’s see what I will find today! Hmmmm, I see something interesting. They look like mini limes. I will certainly try them. Do you know these fruits?
My second seat became available, right behind this cart as two people left. As I walked towards the spot with my container of mystery fruit, another person was also heading in that direction with a container of mixed fruits. We sat together. We exchanged niceties and began a conversation about the items being sold in The Plaza, the economy, and life in the big city. As we talked she told me that she is retired, 2 years now, and is 68years old. We watched and commented as the vendor replenished the fruit supply with grapes, red and green varieties and freshen up the piles of other fruits. We continued our conversation and my company explained that with the cost of living these days, and her limited income, she supplement her food costs by going to the food pantries. She visits two of them regularly. She said the pantries provide quality foods and that help her quite a bit.

So anyway, back to my fruit. I bought a container of Ganepas. These little green balls are also tropical fruits and is a popular summer item. You can buy them on a bunch, like grapes or in a container. The green skin is not edible. It is not very thick either. You can crack it open with your fingers and then put the fruit in your mouth and remove the meat from the seed. The seeds are also not edible.
The fruit inside is an opaque, peach-ish color
on a big seed. It is mostly seed which as I said before is not edible. Pop a Ganepa into your mouth, roll it around to remove the flesh and enjoy. This is a very interesting taste; sweet, tart and different and can leave a film on your tongue. You can chew it or discard it because by then the flavor is gone. I am not sure what to equate the taste to, well it’s like some other exotic fruit with a unique taste.
I guess I will have to keep trying these different and unique fruits in The Plaza to find one similar in taste to this one and tell you about it.

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