Tropical fruits in Bali

Fresh fruit is one of life’s benefits. Bali has an abundance of fruit ranging from the tropical mangoes, bananas and pineapples, to strawberries, mangosteens and kelengkeng found in higher elevations to the exotic sawo and wani (white mango only found in Bali).

Jay & Cheryl from Maui brought me a special fruit picker, that attaches to the end of a pole. This ‘basket with claws’ contraption proved itself recently, plucking 2 large ripe pepaya from one of my fast growing trees. I’m thinking of renting it out to the Balinese locals, 50,000rp per day, with a pole long enough to reach the neighbour’s tree.

You often read in travel books that a smile is something that wins friends everywhere you go. Another thing that wins friends is fruit. My experience of handing out fruit in a Melbourne hostel proved that a bag of fruit will earn you more good will points than just spending money. Same is true for Bali and given the prices of fruit, its an easy thing to do. Westerners may not be familiar with tropical fruits. Here are some of the tropical fruits found in Bali. One rule of thumb I try to remember is westerners view fruit the same way they view meat. We like large chunky portions we an get our teeth into, with uniform consistency. Locals however have completely different criteria, they prefer chewy items, that offer the maximum taste value. Consequently when a western is confronted with fruit such as salak (snake fruit), or rambutan, they may feel the result is not worth the effort.

Three fruits found in Bali that westerners would probably enjoy are mango, wani (the large white mango) and sawo (the kiwi-sized fruit with the unique flavour). Wani and sawo can usually only be found at local fruit markets. Supermarkets sell mango, apple, banana, starfruit and a whole range of other local and imported fruit.

Any road trip through Bedugal, Kintamani or other highland areas will give you the opportunity to stop at a roadside fruit stall and pick up a kilo of produce. This is a fun thing to do and the fruit can be given to the staff at your next hotel, something which is always appreciated.