ALL ABOUT FRUITS IN THE MEKONG DELTA
There are some popular fruits that you should try in the Mekong Delta.
Durian is considered as the king of fruits due to its one-of-a-kind appearance and smell. Durian may look rough outside, however, it has a sweet taste with a unique smell. You will just love it or hate it, there’s no other way between.
Durian is usually harvested in the midsummer, around June and July, but now the farmers have their own technique to grow durian all year round.
There are many different types of durians, but the durian in Cái Mơn, Chợ Lách, Bến Tre is still the most popular.
If durian is the king, then mangosteen is probably the queen. Mangosteen has an elegant purple color and it’s a little sweet and sour and no one can resist it. It’s always sold out when it comes to the season.
Mangosteen can be harvested from April ‘til July and if you come to the Mekong delta this time, you could buy some to eat and bring home as souvenirs.
If we don’t mention coconut when talking about fruits in the Mekong delta, that’s a big mistake. You will encounter coconut in every corner and it’s just amazing to gulp a sweet coconut juice while sightseeing the countryside of the delta.
Coconut produces fruits after 4-5 years after being planted and it continues giving fruits for many more years. Coconut is very usable, we can drink its juice, make cakes, candies, liquor, teapot, mat, and kitchen objects.
Bến Tre is well known as the kingdom of coconut in Vietnam with many different types of coconuts such as Siam coconut, pandan coconut, or flame coconut. Especially, there is a type called Sáp coconut whose core has no juice at all, but some kind of jelly and this coconut is always pricey and it can only be planted in Cầu Kè, Trà Vinh.
Mango is a very delicious fruit and it’s always adored by locals. Usually, mango season is at the end of April and October, at this time, you’ll find mango everywhere, from the stalls along the roads to the big supermarkets.
There are so many kinds of mango in Vietnam like Thanh ca, Cát chu, Bưởi (Pomelo), Taiwanese, but Cát Hòa Lộc mango is still the most popular one due to its signature sweetness and sourness.
Nowadays, besides eating fresh mango, people make semi-dried and full-dried mango to sell.
Watermelon is so loved in the Mekong delta and people enjoy eating it during the scorching days or sometimes it’s served during the meal (this is something different to Vietnamese people in other regions since they don’t eat fruit during a meal, mostly after finishing it).
Watermelon is cultivated all year round and it’s planted on the high mound, covered in plastic, and harvested after 4 months roughly.
The best watermelon has to get thin skin, tender sweetness, and a little “sandy” taste.
When the Lunar New Year coming close, the demand for eating watermelon is just soaring and you’ll find watermelon cramping in every market.
Unlike its rough and spiky look, pineapple has a soft fragrance and a sweet and sour taste which is attracting tons of people.
Pineapple is harvested after 4 – 5 months and planted in a wide area and the best pineapple is Cầu Đúc pineapple which is grown in Hậu Giang province. There are many coop villages in Hậu Giang and they’re trying to bring their brand and fame further and further.
Rambutan is a very typical fruit in the Mekong delta and it’s usually planted on the river islands. It has a red color and many soft spikes outside, and it tastes tenderly sweet. The rambutan season is from May till the end of July and it’s sold at a very affordable price.
There are many types of rambutans, but “Longan” rambutan and Thai rambutan are still the most popular ones.
Longan is another typical fruit of the Mekong delta, it is small and has brown skin and the taste is super sweet.
The longan season starts from May until the end of August, and when you go along the countryside of the Mekong delta, you’ll see thousands of longans hanging on the tree.
Da bò and xuồng longan are the most favorite longans in the delta since it has the tender sweetness, thick flesh, and small seed.
Pomelo is a citrus fruit containing lots of vitamin C and it’s very nutritious. In the Mekong delta, Năm Roi pomelo and Green skin pomelo are grown more than other types due to its delicious taste.
In everyday life, people also use pomelo to make dessert or hair-growing lotion.
To the Mekong delta’s inhabitants, orange is a very favorite fruit for making juice besides the sugarcane juice.
There are many types of orange planted like honey orange or sành orange.
Orange is grown all year round and you’ll easily find it in every market. However, due to the custom and belief of the Mekong delta people, you’re not going to see orange at the New Year (since its Vietnamese name can also mean suffering), so you’ll see Mandarin instead.
Mandarin is another fruit planted everywhere in the Mekong delta, and when mentioning the most famous one, Lai Vung Mandarin is always on the top list.
Annually, in December, many groups of visitors come to Đồng Tháp to take photos with the shining ripe mandarin hanging on the trees and then taste the beautiful sweetness of the fruit.
Even though the dragon fruit of the Mekong delta is not as famous as the one in Central Vietnam, it’s still planted a lot and brings good income to people.
There are 2 types of dragon fruit, the first one has white flesh and the other has red flesh. The red flesh dragon fruit is more valuable since it has better taste and it’s used as the food dying.
Many people have mistaken jackfruit and durian since they have a similar look, but if you look more carefully, you’ll see that jackfruit is less spiky and a bit brighter. Besides, unlike durian, the smell of jackfruit can please everyone.
Jackfruit can weigh up to 20 kg and when it’s ripe, the smell goes everywhere in the air, and in the Mekong delta, Thai jackfruit and Saffron jackfruit are the two best ones.
Besides, in the Mekong delta, there is “young lady” jackfruit which is very small and can give hundreds of fruits hanging on the tree, but it’s not adored by people since it easily makes eater fed up with.
Burmese grape or Dâu in Vietnamese is another specialty of the Mekong delta. There are many different types of Burmese grape, but Hạ Châu one of Phong Điền, Cần Thơ is still the best one with soft sourness.
Star fruit is the fruit that gives fruits during the rainy season, its cool skin and sweetness flesh has brought its fame everywhere. And you have to try Lò Rèn star fruit since it has the best taste among many different types of star fruits.