Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How sweet it is

When speaking in absolutes (ie, never, always), I tend to not throw those terms around loosely. If I "never" do something, or "always" do something else, I better damn sure mean it. Otherwise, when I really do mean something is an absolute, it will have lost its meaning.

Having said that, I can safely say the following statement and know it's true: I have never tasted pineapples as sweet as the ones I tasted in Costa Rica. Never.

Costa Rica is home to plenty of exotic wildlife and spectacular beaches but nature's beauty does not end there. Fruit is bountiful in Costa Rica, and one of their specialties is the pineapple.

Hawaii is, of course, famous for the pineapple. But the pineapple originated in the Americas. Pineapples have grown in Costa Rica for centuries, and the pineapple was introduced to Hawaii by explorers some 400 years ago.

Now, I've never been to Hawaii and thus never tasted pineapples in Hawaii but they'd have to be pretty sweet to top the ones I had in Costa Rica. We stopped by a fruit stand on the drive from San Jose out to the coast and we didn't even intend to buy pineapples (as evidenced by my lack of pictures of the fruit).

In that picture, there are lots of fruits for the taking: mango, papaya, watermelon, pineapples and something called mamones or something. The guy in this next picture ran the fruit stand we stopped at and sliced open a mango for us to try.

Below the mango are the mamones. Now, the guy called them lychees (a lot of Costa Ricans we ran into spoke English, limited or full-on English) but I'm not sure if those are lychees or not. They are interesting. You had to slice them open and squeeze them to get the fruit out, but it came right off its skin.

Then you suck on them until you are left with the pit and little else. I chowed down several handfuls of those. They were interesting. Not my favorite fruit but definitely worthwhile.

But those pineapples. They were an afterthought, to be honest. We bought a bunch of those mamones and some mangoes (which were fantastic; firm and very sweet) and as we were leaving I noticed the pineapples and said 'Why not?' so I asked the fruit stand owner if he could cut us up a pineapple and he did. Once I bit into it, I was in heaven. Pineapple heaven. I ate almost half a pineapple by myself over the next 30 minutes.

I don't know if I can purchase a pineapple here now without comparing it to that sweet slice of heaven I had in Costa Rica.

Check this out. This was breakfast one morning.

Pineapple (awesome), watermelon (very good), bananas (very good) and papaya (actually, not a fan) with some yogurt, honey and granola. I couldn't have asked for a tastier breakfast.


Angie Eats Peace said...

That looks good!

Gracey said...

Wow! This breakfast looks amazing! I am a big fan of pineapples too. I haven't tasted papaya nor lychees, but I'd like to.

Lissaloo said...

That looks like the perfect breakfast, I have really wanted to try a lychee, they sound interesting :)

Willoughby said...

The fruit looks delicious! I think I'm the only person on the planet that doesn't like mangoes. Everyone always tells me I must have gotten an underripe or overripe mango if it didn't taste good (every time?), but I just think I don't like them! I love pineapple, though.

ChristineM said...

That looks wonderful! As much as I love food, papaya is not for me either. I always thought I must have a mild allergy to it or something, because my throat gets all scratchy when I try I stopped trying it! ;)