Since Christmas, the stores here have had lots of lychee. I've had lychee flavored candy before (thanks Lee Lee's Market!), but I'd never ventured to try it.
Well, today I found it on sale at the market across the street for R$2.99, so I decided to give it a try. Sebastian had tried it before; his class studied "Frutas Raras" this past year, and he had the opportunity to try many things. They are pretty good: you peel the outside off, and eat the inside, that is kind of firm and jelly like. Very tasty! And since I'm on the subject of strange fruits, I'll mention the Jaca:
I first saw this while walking with Matt's parents at the Parque Municipal right before Christmas. We all had a "what the heck is that!" response, because they are so enormous and look so muppet-ish. Sebastian said, "that's a Jaca!" and told us that they had tried one in his class (he actually didn't try it, I guess he has his limits). A few days later, we went to the Mercado Central, and we saw them for sale. The vendor gave us a taste, and it was really delicious! We were planning on having friends over for dinner that night, so I decided to buy one. The vendor helped us pick out a good one. Unfortunately when we cut it open, it was horrible, seemingly both rotten and unripe at the same time. Bummer. A few days later we went for ice cream at the infamous São Domingos, an ice cream "parlor" that has been around since the 1930s. They make about 260 different flavors of their own ice cream, and I've heard that the fruits and ingredients are raised on the family farm. In our party of 7, we tried Mango, Mint, Chocolate Cherry, Jaboticaba, Coconut Creme, something else, and Jaca. I don't know if they used a bad Jaca for this ice cream, but it wasn't good. Double bummer. But I will certainly be going back to try some other ice cream. All to say, I'm waiting for my redeeming Jaca experience. There are many other "frutas raras" that I'm interested trying: mangaba, graviola, cupuaçu, and some others from this slide show.
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