Bought 12 pears yesterday. Ya pears, as they are labelled, or as I know them, chinese yellow pears. The pears my dad would bring just for me from Taiwan and China, because I was the only one amongst us who loved them more than the oranges and apples strewn around the house (not that we had dustbunnies of fruits, but we've just had years where nothing else was in the refrigerator. And yet, we're all overweight. Hmmm). I remember breaking a saucer after trying to halve a pear. Biting into my first Bartlett and feeling sadly disappointed (I like the crisp crunch of the Ya variety); but falling in love completely with the tart sweetness of the Anjou with it's aroma and grainy mouth feel. I've poached them in wine and in cider, yet a fresh, cold pear still takes the prize.
Other fruits that make me happy, dance for joy happy: white peaches (to die for in their peak, the aroma opens my salivary glands and I devour all I see in my path), bing and queen anne cherries (my favorite farmer's market find in the Northwest when I go to the US for summer), strawberries (wild sweet ones, and even the steroid mutants that don't look like fruit, more like Arnold Schwarzennegar-styled red pillows. Those I'd rather eat dipped in chocolate to avoid looking at all their muscles.), fresh blueberries, and sweet oranges. Lately, I've bought several Taiwan oranges in the Salcedo market and they've been wonderfully sweet. Eat them standing up watching traffic without the lights on, and you'd think you were anywhere but Manila.
That's not to say I avoid local fruits. Seasonally, I'm a sucker for the best mangos, duhats (with a sprinkling of salt to make them squishy), siniguelas (spelling? ditto on salt especially when not so ripe), lanzones, and our native bananas (who in their right mind wants to eat those cardboard clone bananas from some multi-national farm company without any flavor when we have so many good fruits around). Pineapples (with salt), papaya (with a squish of calamansi), and Calamansi of course. Dayap and Dalandan make our lives a whole lot better too.
Living in China, I found a plethora (love that word, Plethora, pllllethorrrra) of no-English-names fruit. A mutant orange that I finally found out was the kumquat (edible skin, not so edible innards, but just a nice combination of sweet and sour), some kind of berry with red spokes clustered around the seeds. Really good and haven't seen them anywhere else. And lychees, luckily they're known outside Asia too. But I found out that they raise too much heat in the body, that whole yin/yang thing. So I can only eat a few of those tasty morsels.
Huh, I just met someone who's never heard of papaya. Deprived soul!