In season - rambutan
One foodie benefit of living in Asian-rich Orange County is good access to tropical fruits from the Pacific. Mangos are widely available right now, as are jackfruit, durian, and cherimoya. This photo shows rambutan, a delicately sweet and succelent fruit that tastes much like lychee. If a lychee tree were dosed with LSD, rambutan would be the result.
The hairy looking husk is just thick enough that a knife should be used to slice through the skin, revealing the pale fruit inside. Its flesh is textured like a firm grape, and uh, gonadal in shape and size. Its flavor is mildly sweet and far less intimidating than its bristly husk. My kid didn't hesitate to try it, and enjoyed his first try.
I bought a package of Hawaiian grown fruit, 7 for $3.70 at my local Persian supermarket, but imported produce is available all over Little Saigon for less. The specimens I saw in Little Saigon were more brightly colored, magenta swirled with crimson and tipped with neon yellow spikes. Tropical fruit, indeed.
Where to buy them? Click here to see a recent discussion on Chowhound's LA board.