When was the first time you saw an avocado in China? Or a bag of Doritos? Or a can of Dr. Pepper? You were probably elated and amazed. You probably bought it despite the hefty price tag. You may have WeChatted (or texted, or told in person, depending on what decade this happened) all the expats you knew to alert them to this incredible find. Or you may have bought ALL the avocados without telling any other expats. (Yes, Jeff, we remember, but we love you and forgive you. ;))
I had a similar feeling here in the U.S. when I stumbled upon a container of rambutan in the produce section of a Walmart in Orlando, Florida. Yes, Walmart.
Yes, rambutan. I was so excited!
I was also a bit skeptical. The fruit looked tired. If it had been in China (or Thailand or Malaysia), I would have passed them up. Their little spikities looked too dry, like they had been sitting out for too long.
My hesitation didn’t last long, though. I was too happy. Plus the label claimed they were ROCKIN’ rambutan. That alone probably convinced me I needed to give them a try.
I am happy to report that they were good! The flavor and juiciness were just like I’d expect in southeast Asia. The biggest difference was that the flesh did not separate from the seed very easily, which was something new. A lot of it stuck, and the seeds cracked in half with nearly no pressure at all. I guess that is the price you pay for having them shipped over a long distance. That plus the actual price you pay.
But they were yummy. Yummy enough for me to pay another five bucks when I saw them again at another Walmart in Arizona.
October bonus: If you cut them around the equator and remove half of the shell, you end up with a really creepy monster eyeball with red spiky eyelashes growing out of its eyelid.
Creepy but delicious.
So, what are the things you have overpaid for because you were missing them so much? Which things do you miss when you’re in your passport country vs. your host country?
Don't miss out!