Talad Thai Market – A Memorable Place

Whenever we visit Thailand (two times in 2011 and several times earlier), we always try to visit Talad Thai wholesale market about an hour’s drive north of Bangkok.

  
First, the fruit section. This is our favorite place because you can find practically all the fruits in season in Thailand. And they are much cheaper than those you will find at the Otoko market and other markets in Bangkok.
  
MANGOSTEEN. The last time we visited the place, one kilo of mangosteen was priced at only 40 baht per kilo (about P60) while it was more than double that in a supermarket in Bangkok. The fruits are usually not as big as those in the Philippines but they are fleshy with very few seeds. They are also very sweet.
Mangosteen

LONGKONG. This is the lanzones from Thailand which has very few small seeds, most of the time seedless, and without latex that stains the fingers when opening the same. One time we visited Talad Thai, Longkong could be had for as low as 40 baht per kilo. That’s several times lower than the price one gets for imported Longkong in Manila. Sometimes, Longkong is priced at P300 or more per kilo in the Philippines.

Longkong

ATIS. Sugar Apple or atis is something we like very much. There are fruits that weigh half a kilo or more. They are sweet and fleshy. But they don’t readily break up when you open the fruit. Usually the rind is removed and the flesh remains intact. You have to eat by biting on the whole fruit with the skin removed.

  
SWEET TAMARIND. Sweet sampalok is also very cheap and you can buy all the quantities you need. They come in boxes and other containers. There are several varieties, some curved, some straight. The No. 1 variety is the Seechung. One kilo could be had for as low as 50 baht whereas in the Philippines, the price in the local markets could be as much as the equivalent of 250 baht.
  
PUMMELO.  Pummelos are available in big piles. You can buy a truckload or more if that is what you need. They are cheap and of good eating quality.
   
DURIAN. Then there are the durians. Some are very big (more than 5 kilos) some of medium size and very few small ones. The varieties available are usually of good eating quality. They have thick flesh with good flavor. Monthong seems to be still the predominant commercial variety. It is also known as the Golden Pillow.
Durian

JACKFRUIT. Jackfruit which are not ready for eating (they will ripen in a few more days) are always plentiful whenever we visit Talad Thai any month of the year. Usually, they have minimal latex inside and have plump arils.

  
MAKOPA. Also known as wax apple in English, Makopa in Thailand have very good eating quality. The current commercially produced favorite is the Star Ruby which is brilliant red, usually seedless, crisp and fleshy. The fruits are cheap in Talad Thai but could cost as much as 150 baht in the supermarkets in Bangkok.
  
The green makopa is also available in the market. It is fleshy and juicy and is an old variety commonly served for breakfast in hotels. This is also a nice variety to eat.
Makopa

The latest variety we saw is called Chompupet. This is said to have originated from Petchaburi province. It has light green color with a tinge of red. It is fleshy but has seeds. It also has very good taste.

  
KAMACHILE. In the Philippines the Kamachile is not grown commercially but it is in Thailand. Fruits are usually available in sidewalks as well as in the public and private markets. The varieties available are sweet.
  
The cultivars in the Philippines usually have acrid taste so nobody is growing them. There are, however, a few that are also sweet.
Sweet Kamachile

MANGO. There are nice mango varieties in Thailand. Most of them have good eating quality as green mango. We like Falan, Nam Dok Mai, Eating Green and others. There are also big ones that are much more expensive than the medium-size varieties.

  
BANANA. There are different bananas in Thailand. What we like most is what we now call Mama Sita banana in the Philippines. This can be eaten as fresh ripe fruit, fried, boiled, barbecued or made into chips.
  
GUAVA.There are two types of guavas we found in Thailand. One is the light-colored variety that is big and round. The other has smaller fruits but with pink flesh inside. Both are nice to eat.
   
MAYONGCHID. This is a rare fruit that is yellow with nice sweet flavor. It is as big as a small chico (the size of the Pineras variety in the Philippines). It has soft, sweet flesh that is very nice to eat. There is a cultivar called Maprang. This is sour and is much cheaper. The Mayongchid may cost 200 baht per kilo while the Maprang could only fetch 25 baht per kilo or thereabouts.
Fruits of Mayongchid

MAFAI. We tasted Mafai for the first time when we visited Talad Thai market in September 2011. This has clustering yellow fruits about the size of a sineguelas. It tastes somewhat like mangosteen which is sweet-sour. It has several small seeds inside which could be germinated easily. We will find out if the seedlings we grew will bear fruit in the Philippitnes.

These are the fruits of MAFAI. A limited number of seedlings
are now available at the Teresa Orchard & Nursery in Teresa,
Riza
l.
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