Rose Apples (Mountain Apples or, in Thai, “Chompoo”)
These are one of my Thai food favorites… it’s not really just Thai food, but it’s all over Asia. I first had these “apples” when I was hiking in Hawaii. I was on a long hike and dying for something besides the water I had been carrying. I always carried about a gallon of water since I drank that much in five hours of hiking! There wasn’t much room for food.
I was hiking with a friend from the Philippines. We got to a stream and I saw these red fruits hanging on the tree – and thought that if I eat that fruit I’m probably going to hell… and I asked him what it was… he said, oh, “Mountain apple”. I said, HUH?
They were close enough to reach them. When he told me to help myself and eat until I couldn’t eat anymore – that’s exactly what I did. There’s something about trying a food for the first time when you’re over-the-edge with hunger. ANYTHING would taste good. Perhaps. But, these rose apples are incredible anyway. They are so refreshing – they have these juice cells that hold all this water. When you bite it and chew it – it is sooo refreshing – it was like jumping in a waterfall! Well, to me it was.
I’m not sure that you can find these in your Asian market. It’s likely that they wouldn’t be shipped from Asia since they are a delicate fruit and ripen very quickly. There’s a very short shelf-life on these, when they’re ripe they must be eaten quickly. They are not that sweet. The skin has this very unique flavor that I liken to “mint” of some sort… but I’m not that great with food tastes – (Joy’s husband, Vern here!)
These are a great after dinner dessert or a between courses snack – since it will clean your palate for the next course.
Ok – that’s my contribution to Joy’s Thai food blog – since she’s feeling a little ill tonight after we trekked up a waterfall this afternoon… Maybe the mosquitos, I really hope not.