Its breakfast time in Southern China and after a strong workout this morning, I am feeling hungry! However the image of a bowling cauldron of Chinese congee on the downstairs breakfast buffet has my stomach turning for other reasons. Just next to that groul will be a few limp pieces of bologna, some heavy German breads, runny & anemic scrambled eggs and a tray of mystery meat bacon and sausages.
Yep, I don’t see me storming that table any time soon. However, to satisfy the low growl coming up from my stomach, I find my thoughts drifting back to just yesterday in Vietnam where breakfast was a five course challenge to see if I could actually sample every one of the different fruits on the table! You think I’m kidding? No.
Many go to Vietnam for the fine silks, the beautiful lacquerware, the expert tailoring or to tour the beautiful cities that still reflect the French influence in the architecture and design. Me, I go for the fruit! Year round a new and different fruit is coming into season and filling the push carts of the sweet ladies who peddle their wares to drooling travelers like me.
Watermelon, Dragon Fruit, Star Fruit, Papaya, Mango, Durian, Oranges, Passion Fruit, Bananas, Pineapple, Pear, Apple, Jack Fruit, Kiwi, Palm Fruit, Coconut, rambutan and those are just the ones I can identify. There are three times more that I have no name for, well, not one that has an authority to it. I have all kinds of Heather names for them. The yummy prickly one, the bitter but addictive one, the so juicy you need a bib one and well you get the idea.
The breakfast buffet yesterday had all kinds of other amazing Vietnamese specialities to sample from dim sum, to crepes and chocolate croissants (we can all thank the French for the pastries in Vietnam) to local honey dripping straight from the comb! There were 11 kinds of fresh squeezed juices, coffees, teas, champagne (yes, the French again), yoghurts and fruit fruit fruit.
I am feeling full already. I think I will just skip the buffet that is waiting for me downstairs and continue my day-dream of the fruity delights of Vietnam. I forgot to mention Lychee which just happens to be my favorite. That is the one in the picture just above with the dark plum skin. Its skin is really hard and takes some work to get into. But the effort produces four little tiny secret fruit sections inside that will have you questioning the most sensual experience you have ever had.
While we are not trying to think about the buffet downstairs I am now also imagining the other lovely breakfast treat waiting for me to partially gag as I walk by it – Oden. Its like boiled egg and fish cartilage in a jelly like broth. Chinese breakfast of champions.
Ok, erase that image from your mind. Let’s get back to the good stuff (not like pickled egg relish or 1000 yr old egg.)
I could stick around and write all day about how much I love the fruits of Vietnam and southeast Asia for that matter, but hey, there is a big bad China out there for me to conquer today and I have to do it on an empty stomach so I better save my strength.
Check in often, cause I am here all month! Tomorrow I have a big blog planned all about my favorite things that keep me laughing in China. OH OH and its my birthday so I am going to bend your ear about why in hell I am in this armpit on such a glorious day of the year! 🙂