Myanmar’s Seasonal Fruits – The cool season’s harvest
Seasonal delights of Myanmar
Myanmar’s cool season is just around the corner and with it comes a change in the market stalls. Although some Myanmar’s Seasonal Fruits- such as bananas, papaya and watermelon- can be found year-round, there are others which only available in the winter months. Some are exotic varieties only found in Asia yet others you may have seen in your grocery store back home.
The fruits are harvested from the farms, the best of which are around Pyin Oo Lwin, Mt Popa and the southern Mawlamyine area, and delivered to markets throughout the country. Go in the early morning for the freshest produce! In addition to eating the fruits raw, Myanmar restaurants also make delicious juices from these seasonal items as well as jams, candies and even sweet wine. You will have plenty of chance to try the season’s harvest!
Here is our guide to the best fruits available in Myanmar for October – February.
Myanmar Seasonal Fruits : Pomelo
When you first see pomelo, you may mistake it for a giant grapefruit. In appearance, they are similar but these tropical fruits can grow up to 2 kilograms in size. Pomelo has a yellow-green rind that is thick but easy to peel. Inside the fruit can be pink or yellow in color, with large segments with juicy flesh. There are two main varieties of pomelo in Myanmar. The first is honey-like, sweet but not overly sugary while the second is more sour. Unlike grapefruit, pomelo’s fruit is more firm and can easily be eaten with the hands.
The fruit is delicious by itself but many locals in Myanmar prefer to dip the sour variety in a mix of sugar, salt and chili. This combination is a delight for the taste buds and the dry spices compliment the fruit’s juices. Pomelo is also used in some forms of Myanmar salads, mixing the fruit with peanuts, lime juice, fish sauce, chili and other ingredients and served alongside grilled fish or other meats. With a surplus of pomelo, many people make marmalade or dry it to make a sweet snack.
Aside from its great taste, pomelo is also incredibly healthy! The fruit has a high vitamin C content and a fat-burning enzyme which can aid weight loss. Other benefits include relieving fatigue, easing stomach problems and reducing fever.
Myanmar Seasonal Fruits : Avocado
One cool Myanmar Seasonal Fruit you may be surprised to see in Myanmar is avocado. From October until February, the large fruits can be found in the markets and are a local favorite. Compared to Europe, Australia and America the price of avocados is remarkably cheap in Myanmar- with a large fruit costing less than 1 USD.
What may surprise you even more is the unusual ways avocado is served. While the fruit is used to make guacamole and salads, mostly for tourists, the locals prefer to drink it! The avocados are blended with sweetened, condensed milk for a sweet, milkshake-like concoction. Alternatively, sometimes the fruits are combined with dark palm sugar syrup and crushed ice for a delicious and refreshing dessert.
Myanmar Seasonal Fruits : Custard Apple
Another cool season fruit that is beloved by Myanmar residents is custard apple. The odd-looking fruit- with its pale, scale-like outer skin- is famous for its health benefits and delicious taste. Fresh custard apples are pale green in color and firm. They begin to over ripen just 5-7 days after being picked so it is best to enjoy them straight from the tree!
Once opening a custard apple, you will find an opaque white flesh marked with dozens of large brown seeds. Despite the abundance seeds, the fruit is sweet and creamy in texture. There is no need for any garnish or dipping sauce- custard apple is best enjoyed by itself.
As with most tropical fruits, custard apple is full of vitamins, especially A and C. It is also rich in fiber and electrolytes, helping to keep your body healthy and energized.
Myanmar Seasonal Fruits : Strawberry
Sweet, delicious and healthy, strawberries are another favorite seasonal fruit available during Myanmar’s cool season. The berries grow in the highland areas around Pyin Oo Lwin, Mt Popa and in the central Shan State- areas that are popular with local travelers who head into the hills to enjoy the cooler temperatures and fresh produce. There are even farms around Pyin Oo Lwin where you can go pick your own berries!
Strawberries are usually sold in bamboo baskets covered by banana leaf, a stylish and eco-friendly packaging method. The berries are often eaten plain but are also blended into juice and even fermented into a sweet dessert wine. The excess berries are used to make jams, meaning you can enjoy Myanmar’s delicious strawberries throughout the year.
If you are visiting Myanmar in the winter months, keep your eye out for these delicious seasonal fruits in the markets and on the menus of local restaurants to discover the best Myanmar Seasonal Fruits!