Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Field Trip to Vietnam in Orange County

This summer we are exploring Asia without leaving Southern California. I know it sounds a little weird but let me explain what I mean. Southern California is home to several different neighborhoods that offer international products, foods and experiences. There is Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles, Little India in Artesia, Koreatown in Los Angeles and Little Saigon in Westminster OC. We live close to Westminster so on a regular day we visited Little Saigon with friends. Our first stop was the fruit market to experience Jack, Lychee, Rambutan and Dragon fruit.
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Little Saigon in Westminster, CA is a neighborhood filled with shops, markets, restaurants and bakeries that bring the Vietnamese culture to Southern California. It is truly amazing that a little piece of Asia is right here in Orange County for all of us to enjoy and experience.
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We started our field trip to Little Saigon with the Fruit Market Trai-Cay Ngon located off Bolsa and Magnolia.  The shopping center has an Asian Supermarket,  (2) other fruit shops  and other Vietnamese stores.  A friend recommended Trai Cay Ngon Fruit Market because they offer a guarantee on all produce purchased.  The prices are a little high compared to other local markets, however the guarantee keeps regular customers coming back. We experienced long lines and lots of loyal customers shopping for Jack fruit, Lychee, Dragon Fruit and  Rambutan. 
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Lychee and Rambutan Fruit was a new experience for us. The texture for both was like nothing we had every seen in nature. Lychee fruit has a leather like appearance. Our first thought on the fruit was will it taste sweet or sour?

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As we peeled the fruit we noticed it looked like a grape with a large seed.  The taste was sweet and very delicious.  Rambutan is sweet, grape like and with a large seed.  It was just as delicious as Lychee.  The kids had fun calling it the hairy fruit and the dinosaur grape.
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Jack Fruit is this large giant oval produce. It is one of the largest tree fruits in the world. The inside is yellow with  large seeds. The average cost of Jack fruit is around $30.00 dollars because they are so large. The fruit shop sells pre-cut and ready to eat containers for a lesser price. The texture is like an onion with layers of fruit with a sweet taste. It is an acquired tasted because it is a little stringy and a bit rubbery.

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Dragon Fruit tasted like a Kiwi. It was soft, juicy and sweet. The fruit is about 6.00 per pound and it is sold in most markets in Southern California. My family liked this fruit the most out of all the above. The price is a little high for it to be a regular item in our household, but we will eat for special occasions.
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The shop was full of tropical produce that we had never seen before or tasted. It was absolutely a learning experience for all of us. We can't wait to return and taste Rose Apples and Asian plums.
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The field trip to the Asian fruit market was a great experience for the entire family. It opened our eyes to other delicious healthy food choices as well as educated us about a country on the other side of the world. We experienced hearing a new language, tasting new foods and learning about Vietnamese culture through our visit.

Related links:
Korea Town In Los Angeles
Little India Artesia
China Town Los Angeles
Little Saigon

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own.
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