Nov 26, 2010

Journey to the Top End Part 1

So I've been away up north which totally explains my lack of blogging to you guys. But just as a... Balinese furniture buyer needs to holiday every-now-and-then to find new supplies and what not... I have been hunting for the best mangoes, and trying out NEW and DELICIOUS fruits to come home and share with you guys! ;)
(good excuse I think)

Brock and I ventured up to Darwin a week ago, got back Wednesday afternoon, and I've been busting to tell you ever since all about the MANGOES! My favourute fruit, alongside the beautiful banana of course, Brock and I were on a mission to only eat mangoes on our little getaway. But as a few more interesting treaties popped up here and there, we went with it. Any new fruit put infront of us and we'll try it.

And we did.

Fruit. Fruit. And more fruit baby!

- Nam Doc Mai mangoes
- Bowen mangoes
- Celebration mangoes
- Valencia Pride mangoes (yep - not just an orange)
- Kensington Pride mangoes
- R2E2 mangoes

We tried them all! Nam Doc have a really intriguing subtle herb taste to them, Valencia Prides were firm and juicy, R2E2 are still waiting to ripAen in the kitchen, Celebration caused a celebration when we tried them at the marekts, but Bowen were the winners!

Aside from mangoes, we tried JACKFRUIT! Brock and I were both virgin-jackfruit-eaters but can now say we've tried the monstrosity of a thing, and did so under the shade of a coconut palm on the side of the road in a farming town called Humpty Doo (driving there we entertained ourselves by singing "we're going to Hum-pty-Doo!" in memory of Bonn-y-doon from The Castle). Good laugh :)

One green leafy coconut palm next to one red dusty road. Kinda odd. But kinda cool.

We saw a farm that had jackfruits all over the trees so decided to pop on in for a chat to the owner. Cranky ol' b*$%@&d he was but he did let us take one of the jackfruits that had fallen from the tree.
Now if you've never seen a jackfruit before; HUGE. HUGE. I'm talking HUGE. Well ok I'm sure you can get small ones but on average (and I'm not exaggerating), they were the size of footballs. Big round footballs!!

They hang from trees and have a blunt-but-spikey casing that is kinda squishy. When Brock managed to tear it open with his bare hands, we saw a long thick centre piece running from the top of the fruit to the bottom which held it all together.

The rest was white spaghetti-like strands strangling the yellow fleshy pillows of fruit, which each had a seed the size of a large grape inside. The smell was a strong sticky sweetness, and yep, it stayed on our hands for quite some time.

Another beauty we tried that day - the RAMBUTAN.
Rip open the skin, pop these babies into your mouth and gently suck the flesh off of the woody pip inside... similar to a lychee if you had to liken it to another fruit, only a more subtle delicate flavour.

Later Friday afternoon Brock and I drove to Berry Springs to cool off with a swim and have short stroll through the bush. We were amazed at the beauty, and loved being the only people there.

Watch out for crocs!

And that evening we tried SOURSOP!! Another intriguing looking fellow we picked up on our travels.
This thing looks like a bigger version of a custard apple, only not so lumpy. And it always seemed to be kept in newspaper as once it's ready to eat, it's ready to eat. And you'll know it. Very very soft.

We got it off a little Asian lady selling fruit on the side of the road (same place we got our rambutans) and she told us it tastes "like a custard apple only more sour".
Wow! Ice cold straight out of the fridge after a hot sweaty day, tiny morsels of this creamy fruit slide down your throat. It's soft. Silky. And tastes exactly like tangy frozen yoghurt. Yum!

Then Saturday morning we headed down to local markets (which I'll have more on in my next blog) for fresh fruit before driving out to Litchfield National Park with Brock's sister Asha and her husband Darren. We ventured along walking tracks, swam at water holes, ate more mangoes, and had loads of fun together (until my thong broke and I had an entertaining walk back through the bush tip-toeing around rocks, pebbles and muddy patches, one thong off and one thong on, much to Brock's amusement)

One of the water holes we swam at in Green Ant Creek; appropriatley named too. And Asha and Darren below cooling off.

One mighty big waterfall...

And Brock paddling around at the top of it -

Cooled off, had fun, last swim at Florence Falls...

And a well deserved ruby red papaya to replenish the energy reserves :)

And that's not even close to the BEST bits of the trip! Wait up for MARKET MADDNESS and Kakadu National Park!


  1. Wow, all looks great! I swam in Florence Falls about 8 years ago, the whole area is really something. You've made me want to go back, very soon! xxx

  2. what a fun post!! so much crazy deliciousness. Tropical fruits are THE BEST. I love love love rambutan, but only find them when I travel. On the other hand, it's hard to argue with mangos & papayas. I've had jackfruit, and thought it was just so-so... not an all time fave. Soursop is the only one here I haven't tried yet. Someday!!

  3. Wow, a whole farm of Jackfruit trees! I would definitely love to see that :) I've only seen a couple in real life in Thailand including this one. Were they selling them at the markets there? Been a while since I've had rambutans too, yum! Did you see any dragon fruit?

  4. What beautiful scenery!! So glad you're having this experience. Yummmm jackfruit!

  5. ON the jackfruit - yep, nice big farms and they were also at the markets! Getting sold whole or in containers all cut up. Loads of them. I kinda got over jackfruit pretty quick.

    As for the mangoes and papayas tho... yep, Def hard to argue with those babies. Back in Sydney now and still have trays of them in the kitchen. Until I cant find them no longer, I'll keep eating them! YUM!