FRUIT TREES

Fruit trees would be traditionally planted around the house, so that they can produce fruit for the table all year round as well as providing the much needed shade and cooling in the heat of summer as the trees release oxygen. My grandma’s house in Bangkok has four different varieties of mangoes, a jackfruit tree, a tamarind tree, a marian plum tree, a rose apple tree, and a pomegranate tree. All of these tress produce large qualities of fruit ( that is, if the squirrels don’t get to them first! ) Another advantage is that it enables us to harvest the fruit at any stage, a mango might be picked when it is still green to add sourness to a salad, a green jackfruit can be added to curries and the ability to ripen fruit on the tree gives a ripe mango much more added flavour. Other parts of the tree can also be used, such as the young shoots of the tamarind tree, giving a freshness and sourness to clear soups, or the flowers of the rose apple can be picked just at the right time and added into a salad. Although they do take time to establish, once they mature, fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any home garden.

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I have nowhere in the tropics tasted fruits comparable in their excellence with those of Siam... The Siamese durians, mangoes, mangosteens and some others, appeared to me of unparalleled size and flavour. Almost everyday furnished a new variety... The sweet tamarind was also a novelty to us; and there were very many to us unknown sorts of fruits, beautiful in appearance and agreeable in taste, either cultivated in the gardens or growing wild in the woods, which were among the daily bounties of the kings and of the nobles.
— BOWRING 1857