Vietnam has so many colourful and bizarre fruits to choose from. The early morning markets in Vietnam have aisles filled with dozens of fruit varieties that change throughout the season. Enjoying the local cuisines goes far beyond rice shops and pho stalls, there are also plenty of desserts and midday snacks to taste to get a full appreciation of the Vietnamese flavour.
Here are a few of the favourite fruity flavours that are likely to be experienced on the Vietnam private.
Dragon fruit is likely to be the most recognizable of the native fruits from Southeast Asia. It is a beautiful fruit in combination of vivid colours like white, black and pink. However, the taste of this fruit doesn’t seem to match its appearance, and isn’t particularly sweet and is relatively tasteless. This fruit is a favoured choice to use on ancestral altars and in pagodas, but also a popular fruit to eat. It is likely to be seen in plenty of fruit salads on the Vietnam family tour. Plus, it can easily be picked up at one of the many markets throughout the country, and is available year-round.
Similar to the dragon fruit, the rambutan has a quite unique look with its bright-red skin and strangely hairy outer shell. This fruit is local to the Indonesian Archipelago and harvesting takes place in the summer to make a popular choice to eat fresh off the brand or form part of a sweet dessert. Its major harvesting areas include Long Ho District and Binh Hoa Phuoc village in the southern region of Vietnam.
The lychee is a particular favourite in Vietnam. It is a regular in desserts or simply as a snack between meals. Lychee flavour is famous, with this ingredient featured in ice creams, fruit juices and teas. The taste is slightly tangy, mildly sweet and easily found in most markets, some corner shops and grocery stores. Plus, there are several varieties of this fruit harvested in Vietnam (most popular variety is “vai thieu”), so you get to experience new ones throughout the year.
The longan is much the same taste wise as the rambutan and lychee, and a main ingredient in che, which is a type of local summer treat. This fruit is rich in protein and great to eat fresh off the branch, as well as mixing with lotus seeds and fruits in che.
The pomelo is a citrus fruit and another of the local fruits that is popular eaten fresh. This is a super sweet fruit that isn’t quite as sour as other citrus. In addition to eating fresh, the pomelo is a favourite with salads and less popular with desserts. When buying pomelo at the market on the Vietnam holiday, you often get a tiny bag of dipping salt (bot muoi ot) which is incredibly spicy and only needs to be used in small amounts. This fruit is seen in grocery stores and street markets both peeled and unpeeled. The peeled pomelo is the easiest to eat quickly because the rind is extremely thick.