UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
Part II in a series of food reviews from my trip to Ishigaki Island, Okinawa.

The tropical climate of the Okinawa Islands yields wonderful fruits. Our visit, in the beginning of September, coincided with the best of pineapple season. I was eager to try as much fruit as possible.

My first chance was the hotel morning buffet. Morning buffets at hotels are usually quite mediocre, but the Ishigaki Seaside Hotel morning buffet is one of the top reasons why I'd go back to Ishigaki. The fruit selection was simple but exquisite - fresh pineapple, melon, island bananas (the size of your thumb) and colorful citrus fruits. Unfortunately, I was usually pretty brain dead in the morning and did not take my camera with me.

Luckily, I captured most of our other fruit indulgences on film:

Pineapples for cats and other mid-sized animals
... is what I thought they were. Apparently, they grow these for decorative purposes. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of human-sized pineapples.


This is a fruit stand on the side of the road, where they gave us free slices of dragon fruit. Hot pink on the outside, white with black speck-seeds on the inside. Less juicy than I expected, less tasty than expected. Overall, I'd say it's a visual spectacle more than a journey in taste bud titillation.


What is this? I bought this not knowing the name of it. It smells like cake. And when you break it open, it literally falls apart. The concept of this fruit turned out to be similar to a pomegranate, suck-the-meat-off-the-seeds deal. This was good, but too syrupy-sweet for my taste. I found myself abandoning the second one I bought in the hotel fridge. Please if anyone knows the name of this, let me know!


Mango! This was wonderful. It tasted like the best mango of the season from the Berkeley farmer's market. It made me miss California, where you can buy a mango for 80 cents. This one set us back 500 yen (close to $5 USD) for less-than half.


But check out these mangos... 5 of these babies will leave a crater in your wallet at 16,000 yen or about $150 USD (the dollar is so weak now that it'll make you cry even harder).


*Read all of Yoko's Ishigaki Travels
Dream Shop TOMORU
Do the Gyu, OG Style
The Largest Living Arthropod in the World
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7 comments

  • oh oops, someone beat me to it, LOL… yeah yamahomo! =))

    kayce. on

  • Yoko, I think it’s called Atemoya.
    Check this out (sorry it’s only in Japanese). It does say “ice cream of forest”..

    http://www.okinawa-fruit.com/category/frushop/atemoya.html

    Yamahomo on

  • Wonderful! Thanks guys… atemoya. Interesting name for an interesting fruit.

    yoko on

  • gorgeous pics Yoko!!! had no idea that the inside of the dragon fruit is white! actually, during our banh mi crawl, Payman was wondering what that neon pink thing was called. there you go, Pay!

    kayoko on

  • ok, last comment today, i swear, but i found a wikipedia article (short, but in english) w/ a description so you can see if it is the same thing…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atemoya

    kayce. on

  • Yes, I know, I am more than one year late, but I just discoverd your great blog. The fruit is called anone in France and chirimoya in Ecuador… as for english… I have no idea!

    Hajnal on

  • Yoko I think they are also called Buddha’s Head which is so appropriately cut…

    Kayoko- Dragonfruit can be pink inside as well! I never ate one that was, though..

    Sonja on

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