So I’m continuing my fruit posts with another strange and wonderful fruit – the star gooseberry. Leboir in Bengali and Ka’tuat in Khmer.
The only reason I know the English name is because I saw it in the local super expensive supermarket where you can get every western food you can dream of at ridiculously inflated prices. And additionally all the Khmer fruit, veg and fish have the English names stuck on a label. Of course some Khmer foods don’t seem to have English names-so they’ve just stuck on the Khmer name written in English.
There’s a tree of this fruit in the garden of my friend S. It’s not his garden but a communal one for everyone living there. But me and my GF just can’t resist picking a handful of these fruits everytime (almost everyday shall I say :-)) we visit him. We then slop away at the tiny treats of extreme sourness with….wait for it- something called ‘ambeul rotee’. I think it’s chicken stock powder or something similar. Very salty with lots of flavour! But you can enjoy it with salt or a salt & chilli mix or even add sugar for a slight sweetness that goes well with the sour!!
I’ve never seen these fruits in Europe. But I have seen them in a package in dried form here in the supermarket. So maybe it’s available like this in some supermarket near you??
The beloved star gooseberry tree – there’s not so many left now. A month ago the branches were literally yellow overflowing with star gooseberries 🙂
Star gooseberry with ‘ambeul rotee’, a salt and I dunnno what mixture! Oh and the lime dropped by for a quick hello 😉
Here’s one of my favourite fruits at the moment. It’s called a Sapodilla, ‘Lamut’ in Khmer. It’s not really strange to me as I’ve had this fruit many times in Berlin from the many Turkish fruit and veg stalls/ grocery shops. By far the best places to buy fresh fruit and veg there. Always fresh and there’s tonnes of it including many strange fruits you don’t normally get! I’ve ate it in London as well as in Bangladesh.
The size of a large egg and even shaped a bit like one. 3-4 large black seeds. Ripe you can smell the sweet aroma without cutting it. It goes almost soft when you press the skin. The fruit flesh looks a bit like a galia melon although the taste is far sweeter. The texture reminds me of a hairless kiwi.
I will add one bit of precaution to this fruit though! If you can’t smell it without cutting it and the skin is hard and doesn’t give to the pressure of your finger-don’t eat it!! I ate an unripe sapodilla about a month back. It wasn’t very sweet and whilst unripe has something in it that made my throat go all dry-I didn’t stop eating …..and then the fucking bits of fruit got stuck in my throat. I coughed and spluttered and eventually put fingers down my throat to throw up to free my throat. I was in a lot of pain. It felt like something going down my throat that was far too big for it (less than half a sapodilla)?? My girlfriend was sleeping already so didn’t hear any of this. I was very relieved when I puked bits out into the sink and the rest of the unripe ungrateful fruit finally made it’s way to my stomach where I guess my stomach acids are far stronger than whatever is in the unripe version! Phew, I though briefly I was gonna die this night!! 🙂
Anyway ripe totally delicious. Hope I didn’t put anyone off… 🙂
Sapodilla, Lamut (in Khmer)