Fruit Recap

As I sit down to write a recap of all the fruit I tried in Guatemala, I can’t help but reflect back on my recent travels there. I often find that after I come back from a trip, I need some distance to really process everything I’ve seen and done. Guatemala was no different.

Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I really enjoyed traveling in Guatemala. This was my first foray into traveling with a baby, and our trip was much slower than what Mr. Fruit Adventurer and I are used to. While on the road, that sometimes got us down. But in hindsight, there were many advantages to going at a more leisurely pace.

In the past, our travels involved staying in one place for 3-4 days, and rushing to see all the sights and do all the things. This time around, we stayed in each place for about a week, so we got to enjoy some everyday living in Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Flores.

It was so nice to have time to visit the markets everyday and get to know the people working there, and to enjoy daily coffees in the local cafes. We also had a lot more local interaction on this trip, since all the Guatemalans wanted to meet our baby. And in the end, we got to see everything we wanted to see, the highlight being the amazing Mayan pyramids at Tikal.

Of course a huge bonus for The Fruit Adventurer was that I had a lot more time to sample the local fruits! Guatemala is a beautiful country with both tropical and more temperate mountainous regions, so there was a huge variety of fruits to try. As I write the list I’m shocked by how many fruits I ended up eating, some of them multiple times!

Here are all of the fruits I had the pleasure tasting in Guatemala:

Granadillas – My new favorite fruit!

Nispero – Much smaller than I thought they would be

Avocados – The size and shape of a baseball

Mangos – Heaven is a mango eaten close to the tree

Mandarins – The sweetest oranges I’ve ever tasted

Pink pomelo – Smaller and sweeter than the Asian variety

Pink bananas – Dark pink peel, slightly pink on the inside, and an overwhelming tropical flavor

Tiny yellow bananas – About the size of my thumb, incredibly sweet

Cherimoya – Sweet fruit with the consistency of custard

Ice cream bean – Huge green beans with fluffy white fruit on the seeds

Mamey sapote – Creamy, orange fruit with texture of an avocado

Mora – The biggest blackberries I’ve ever seen

Strawberries – Similar flavor to the ones from California, but smaller and sweeter

Guavas – So sweet with a heavenly perfume

Fruit Success and Failure

Before leaving for Guatemala, I wrote a post on 5 Guatemalan fruits I was excited to try. Those five fruits were mangosteen, nispero/loquat, ice cream bean, mamey sapote and jocote. Well, I scored 3 out of 5 guys.

I easily found the mamey sapote and the surprisingly small nispero. And I’m so happy I finally got to experience the famous ice cream bean, a fruit adventure dream I’ve had for a long time. I also discovered many other exciting fruits I’m just dying to tell you about! So over all my Guatemalan fruit adventure was a huge success!

But unfortunately I did have some fruit failures. I was really pumped to try Guatemala’s national fruit, the jocote. But try as I might, I just could not find it! My guess is the jocote was not in season, so my jocote fruit adventure will just have to wait until another time.

While I’m mildly sad about missing out on jocote, my biggest fruit failure on this trip was that I never got my hands on mangosteen. And it wasn’t from lack of trying. Mangosteen is one of my favourite fruits, and one that you cannot get in Canada (easily and inexpensively, at least).

I was so looking forward to a reunion with my old fruit friend in Guatemala, but as the days flew by, I had to stare reality in the face. There was a very real possibility I was going to be denied mangosteen.

I searched high and low, and even took my mangosteen mission into the grocery stores in Antigua. I asked after the mangosteen to Mayan ladies selling fruit on the streets, in parks, and in bustling markets, but they all just shook their heads.

On the last leg of our journey we headed to the tropical department of El Peten, and I wondered if mangosteen would be waiting for me in the markets of Flores, but no such luck. I even hoped against hope that I would run into mangosteen in the jungles of Tikal. Nope. And with that my mangosteen dreams were dashed.

I have since read that the season for mangosteens in Guatemala is June to October. Well lesson learned! For any future travels, I’ll be sure to research the season of fruits before I get all excited about trying them…

On the bright side, there were lots of other new and exciting fruits I did get to try for the first time in Guatemala. And I even have a new favorite fruit! My next few posts will recap all the wonderful fruit I did get to experience, including a few fruit surprises and special fruit places.

And We’re Back!

Hello all! I’ve made it back from my great Guatemalan adventure in one piece, and I’m so excited to share all of my amazing fruit finds with you. It’s taken me a bit longer than expected to get back into the swing of things at home, but now that I’m feeling a bit more organized, next week will be full of new fruit adventure tales! So stay tuned, and have a great weekend!