Saturday 16 August 2008

munching rose apples in thailand

I’m back!

After 35 days overseas I am glad to be home and even happier to be blogging again.

It was a whirlwind holiday with the longest stay in one place being 4 nights. I guess that’s what happens when Jonas hasn’t been home for five years and we have to catch up with everyone.

First there were 3 days in Tokyo, then in Sweden we visited Göteborg, went sailing on the Swedish West Coast, relaxed on the island of Muskö in the Stockholm archipelago, Stockholm, Västra Gotland’s capital Vänersborg and then a road trip through Västergötland, Närke, Västmanland, Östergötland and Småland and finally 3 days in Bangkok.

We’re pretty tired but over the next few weeks I certainly plan to share some photos of the food and scenery we experienced.

For my first Weekend Herb Blogging in five weeks I’m focusing on the delicious chom phu, a fruit I tried in Thailand.

Syzygium jambos (syn. Eugenia jambos, Jambosa jambos), also known in English as a rose apple, Malay apple and a Malabar plum, are fruits that can also be pale green or yellow and are part of the myrtle family. They are also known by the names appelroos, champakka, chom pu, chom-phu, jaman, jambeiro, jambo amarelo, jambosier, jambu, pomarrosa, pommeroos and yambo.

The fruit tasted pleasant, and yet quite strange. It had a very thin, waxy skin and the flavour was fresh, a cross between apple, pear and something almost spicy. I found a description that summed it all up perfectly: “The flesh is crisp and watery, and tastes like a cross between nashi and bell pepper, with a very mild rose scent and a slightly bitter aftertaste.”

They aren't really related to apples at all, but I guess the crisp texture is so similar people can't help but compare.

The centre contains fluffy fibres, like an artichoke, which are inedible and best avoided.

Most sources claim the fruit is native to South East Asia, but became so common in Ancient India that the Sanskrit name for the Indian territories was Jambudvipa, meaning "rose apple land". Rose apples thrive in many environments and are serious ecological threats on the Hawaiian islands, Réunion and the Galápagos Islands as well as parts of Australia and Central America.

Rose apple fruits work very well in jams and jellies, can be turned into syrup to flavour drinks, stewed with cinnamon as a dessert or even stuffed with meat and baked in tomato sauce for a main course. The fruits, however, are very easily bruised and highly perishable so they are usually picked locally to ensure they are sold crisp.

Our host for WHB this week is Serbian blogger Marija from Palachinka, so be sure to visit her round-up.

In the meantime I hope I've whet your appetites to return over the next few weeks and check out all the food we tried on the trip.




  1. I'm so happy to hear you've been having a good holiday! I'd love to visit all those places, and with friends in many of them it must have been so much fun! Can't wait to see what you've been eating.

    This is a great entry for WHB! Never seen or heard of this fruit before and the description is quite intriguing (and Thailand is on my top ten list of "must visit" places!)

  2. I too never heard of rose apple before. It looks so divine! Can't wait to see the rest of the food you tried in Thailand!

    Thanks for sending this for WHB!

  3. I have just tasted glaced rose petals prepared by a friend. She mixes a very fresh egg whote with sugar and bathes the petals inside. Then she lets them dry and uses them to decorate desserts such as creme brulee ... miam.

  4. Wow, I have never heard of such a fruit. The photo is beautiful, the colour amazing.

  5. Do you know why is it called " rose apple" Dose it look like apple??? I don't think so...


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