Yes, Taiwanese mangos are the best! I can’t find mango as good anywhere.
Yes, this! Thank you; I thought I was the only one who felt this way. However, I’d never admit it because everyone I know raves about the guavas.
First they came for the Bala…
I like Taiwanese mangos, too, but tbh every mango-growing country I’ve ever visited has “the best mangos in the world.” Mexicans and central Americans brag about their mangos, Indians and Pakistanis brag about their mangos, people in the ME brag about their mangos, Thais brag … etc.
It’s all good, though. The only bad mangos I’ve had were mangos I bought in New Jersey that had not survived the trip from Mexico and were wrinkled, sour and woody. Hard to grow a bad mango, I reckon.
I loves me some guava, too.
Guavas are a revelation, they are not just about sweetness, but there is a bit more complexity in there in terms of texture and flavour. Good ones have an amazing zingy sweetness. The sweetness is often concentrated around the crunchy seeds, so you kind of get this Pavlovian association of the seeds with sweetness which makes you forget about their grittiness.
Anyway, question for you armchair economists, does this mean the price is going to go up for us hapless locals who like the things?
4 posts were split to a new topic: Taiwanese Avocados
Nice to hear that Taiwan will be able to sell guavas in the U.S., but I honestly can’t see them being very competitive. The guavas from Mexico and Central America are better than the ones from Taiwan, and probably much cheaper. I could see them being a specialty item sold in Asian supermarkets, but that’s about it. Same deal with mangoes.
You forgot to mention the distance from Mexico and the US being much shorter than halfway across the world to Taiwan.
That said, I’ve never had a mango in the US that was half as good as the best ones I’ve had here. Maybe the time it takes to import a fruit robs it of something. Not that it’s rotten, but just lacking in their special off-the-tree freshness.
Yeah, I figured that was implied in the price part.
Taiwan mangoes are OK (I prefer the “dirt mangoes” for their tangy flavor, other varieties taste like sugar water to me). With Mexican mangoes, on the other hand, I’ve had near religious experiences.
I always felt like Taiwan’s better. But I guess that’s just personal preference.
Could be. To my palate, the Mexican ones have a much more complex flavor. The Taiwanese ones are just sweet.
I enjoy the sweetness so probably why.
Taiwan has pretty high level bio development. But they have low level tastebuds. Most fruit breeding here is to do with size, shipping and color. Then taste.
Taiwan is an industrial nation hence its focus on commercializing stuff rather than flavor. The guava here are bigger and very well managed. It used to be that Taiwanese would go to places like mexico and south america to manage farm projects due to their bio tek skill. Where they fail a bit is logistics and efficiency in the field. But they make efective managers.
When it comes to the flavor of fruit, it seems like the only standard here is “make it as sweet as possible.”
I think they also target size as @Explant mentioned, and they have an obsession with untarnished exteriors, and symmetric shape. When you talk to the vendors on the street, as they sort will pick up a dragon fruit and point to a little tiny section that is ‘hei hei de’ and put it back and get you a perfect one. The carrots you see at the supermarket are supernaturally huge. When I see the perfect round unblemished tomatoes at the traditional market, and compare to what we grew in our backyard growing up, I know a serious amount of something, probably some horrid pesticide, has been sprayed on those things.
I think this emphasis on large fruit with no blemishes is driven at least in part by the “bai bai” culture. When offering fruit to the gods, size and appearance is paramount…which makes perfect sense, considering that they/'re not actually going to eat it.
yes the small green/yellow ones are especially good
Guava/Bala is a really nice fruit, it’s great that it’s getting some attention abroad. For any fellow foreigner new to Taiwan, if you wish to try the best Guava and your Chinese is not up to par, feel free to go to your local veggie/fruit store and ask for this:
Showing this picture to the store owner will be more than enough, and you’ll be able to enjoy some delicious fruit. Its flavor may take a bit to get used to, but it’s fantastic.
They’re expensive, like 90NTD for a small one… must be the health food premium.
So far, I think I’ve only tasted one kind of mangos in Indonesia that I can definitively say it tastes better than mangos in Taiwan, due to it’s fragrant aroma. However, those types of mangos seems to be rare even in Indonesia.