Travel Photo Thursday – 10/09/14 – Penang: Tropical Fruit Farm

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Destinations, Featured, Food, Malaysia, Penang, Travel Photo Thursday | 42 comments

Welcome to the 196th week of Travel Photo Thursday. You know this weekly blog link up is more reliable than my Internet connection! I have been, once again, with spotty service today. Fingers crossed that I am not going to kicked off before I get this post finished and published.

I don’t remember Penang’s Tropical Fruit Farm from my previous visits. However, I’m pleased to say that it is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. The guides are knowledgeable, and after learning about the fruit (and a few nuts), visitors sit and feast on unlimited fresh fruit! I was in Penang during fruit season, so it was cheap and plentiful.  Here’s the farm…

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The Tropical Fruit Farm is located in the vicinity of Batu Ferringhi. If you have a car, easy to get there. If you’re relying on public transportation, it’s a little trickier, but doable. I’ll give you all the details at the end.

The first fruit we were introduced to was the Bengal currant. I took photos of most of the signs, because I knew that I would not remember all of this stuff! The currants intrigued me, because they had been in a dish that I had eaten a few days earlier. At that time, I had no idea what they were, but I liked the combination of tart and sweet.

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

This fruit was totally new to me. I’d love to try it sometime. As you can see from the second photo, they were on the trees. However, not ready for harvest. Too bad! Considered a lower class food in India!

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

Another favorite of mine. I had no idea that they grow on vines. There is also a variety that is deep pink in color, and that was the one that was available on the fruit buffet the day I was there. I think I actually prefer the pink to the white, if I have a choice.

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

Then we have the passion fruit. Notice that these ones are bagged, to protect them from being ravaged by bugs. I like passion fruit in a smoothie. Smoothies were available, so mine was passion fruit. 🙂

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

I so wanted to try Mamey Sapote, but sadly not in season. Can you imagine a fruit tasting like a combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and almond?! I’ll be on the lookout this winter.

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

Lovely sweet taste but not over powering.

 

Tropical Fruit Farm , Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm , Penang

 

Tropical Fruit Farm

Tropical Fruit Farm

 

I have ruined many a thumb nail eating rambutan. The outer skin can be tough! The ones on the buffet were already peeled! 🙂 I love the flowers on the plant, so pretty.

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

I didn’t photograph the sign for the figs. If you ever have the chance to try fresh figs, they are amazing. My friends in Taiwan have a fig tree in their  garden, and I have picked and eaten many a fig from that tree. The figs at the fruit farm were not ripe, so I had to use my imagination 🙂

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

At the end of the tour, the all you can eat fruit buffet awaits…

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

Watermelon has a new look!

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

The tour finishes and ends here. You can even buy fruit to take home.

 

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

Tropical Fruit Farm, Penang

 

Traveler’s Tips

The farm is opened year round, but best time to go is during the fruit season (I was told December to end of February). Getting to the farm can be a bit tricky if you are relying on public transportation. The best thing to do is to call the farm and arrange for the free shuttle to pick you up from the Craft Batik store. The 101 bus will drop you off almost in front of the door. Do call the day before, and you might want to confirm on the day. 

Price of the tour and fruit buffet is 35 Malaysian ringgit (appox. $11.00US). You really can’t beat the price.

Tropical Fruit Farm

 

Have you ever been to a tropical fruit farm? What’s your favorite tropical fruit?

___

This is the 196th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.

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42 Comments

  1. The Bullocks Heart is a Custard Apple, we grow them in North Queensland – they are delicious. There are a lot of black largish smooth seeds within and in between them a white sweet mush that is vaguely custard like, hence the name 🙂 We eat them by cutting the fruit in half and eating it with a spoon, spitting out the seeds :/

  2. Hi Jan. Sounds delicious! I really want to try them sometime.

  3. I love tropical fruits and this would be a heavenly visit for me. What a feast! Some of these I’ve never known about and I would like to try that mamey sapote. Sounds intriguing! I didn’t know dragon fruit grows in vines too. What a great visit this was, Nancie. I have a sudden craving for tropical fruits now 🙂

    • Hi Mary! I can never get too much fruit. I was amazed at how they grow the dragon fruit. I had no idea!

  4. Great to be back after a long break from blogging (and with a new blog!)
    I’d loooovvvvee to go to Penang. Thank you for your beautiful posts about it!
    Those fruits look so yummy.

    • Hi Denise,

      Welcome back! I’m looking forward to reading your new blog. Penang is great destination. Lots to see, do, and eat!

  5. I recognize the custard apple and the lychee (rambutan). I think we might have a few others in the Jamaica and the Caribbean but I can’t think of their local names. Almost every island has a different name for the same fruits!
    I just saw that type of rambutan in Costa Rica, it was everywhere. My friend said it was lychee but different from what we have in Jamaica.
    There’s also a fig tree in the garden of my place in Jamaica.
    I’d love to taste that orange watermelon. Did they say how they got it to be that color?

    • Hi Marcia. It’s interesting how almost every country/region has their local name for a lot of fruit. This rambutan is very popular in SEA. This is the one that I always eat when I’m in Thailand.

  6. The buffet looks marvelous! It’s always fun, and many times an adventure, to find and taste new fruits in a foreign country. Many times, however, I need someone to show me how to cut or peel or open them!

    • Hi Anita! Yes, sometimes getting them open can be a real challenge. One thing I love in Thailand is the fruit carts where everything is cut up and ready to go. I didn’t seem too many fruit carts in Penang, although I was on the lookout.

  7. There are so many fruits here I’ve never heard of and yet I’ve lived in Asia. I think my favourite tropical fruit is mango though I also love passion frut and lychees. I don’t actually like rambutan much though. Does the orange watermelon taste different to regular red?

    • Hi Phoebe! I couldn’t tell the difference between the two watermelon. Now I love rambutan. I’ve been known to make a meal of it 🙂

  8. What a fun experience, not only to get to see how everything grows, but to get to taste it too. I had no idea what kind of plant most of those fruits grow on, although I do have a fig tree at home (in a pot so I can bring it in during the winter) and I get a few wonderful figs from that. I’ve grown various yellow watermelons too. . . I wonder if any of those other goodies could be grown inside as a potted plant!

    • Hi Cindy. It sounds like you have a bit of a green thumb 🙂 You probably could grow some of them in pots, although they might get kind of large! A friend of mine grows papaya in her garden wall, and they seem to thrive in the small space. Of course, she lives in the tropics and doesn’t have to worry about cold winters 🙂

      • Ha ha. I used to have a green thumb – when I wasn’t traveling so much. For awhile I had about 40 orchids, among other things, but I have about half that now and fewer of all the others too. For about 10 years I had a cube that faced about 40 feet of windows with nice stone sills — we had a whole greenhouse there. Then I got a better job and lost my windows. It’s been downhill plant-wise ever since. When I’m old and not traveling I want a condo in a place that is warm enough to leave most of the plants out all year and a solarium for the rest! Then I will grow more things. Papaya does sound worth trying – some of them do seem to grow on trees that are pretty small to begin with!

        • I love orchids, and when I get settled somewhere permanently wouldn’t mind trying my hand at growing them. I used to do a lot of pot gardening in Canada. Even though I had a big yard, I preferred the pots on the deck; less work 🙂

  9. I agree – can’t get enough tropical fruit and I absolutely love fresh figs (which we can grow in this Northwest climate, much to my amazement!) Nancie, thanks for doing the linkup each week despite those internet challenges. . .can’t tell you how much I look forward to #TPThursday!!!

    • Hi Jackie! Thanks so much. I enjoy Thursdays too, or I wouldn’t have kept it going so long. 🙂 I never really thought of figs growing in colder climates. Are they hot house?

      • You won’t believe it but my neighbor has a huge fig tree in his back yard that produces a prolific amount of figs (and lives through our northwest winters) and I have one in a pot that I move inside in winter and it produced five figs a year ago – go figure!

        • Jackie, I’m just amazed that a fig tree would survive a cold winter.

  10. We became acquainted and fell in love with many of these tropical fruits when we lived on Kaua’i, where passion fruit is called lilikoi. It is used to sweeten a variety of desserts and added to cocktails instead of simple syrup. Like you, also a huge fan of dragonfruit. The color is just irresistible. Have you tried breadfruit? Pete made jelly from starfruit on many occasions, too. Always fun to try new things.

    • I’ve never tried breadfruit. I must have a look for it when I’m in Thailand this winter. Starfruit jelly sounds delicious!

  11. I love tropical fruits, and these pictures have me drooling! I would especially love to taste that Mamey Sapote – chocolate, pumpkin, almond? YUM!

    • Hi Lois. I’m with you! The Mamey Sapote is worthy of a search 🙂

  12. What a fruit-lovers paradise! I haven’t heard of many of these fruits but would love to try them! Too bad some of them weren’t in season. THe Mamey Sapote sounds very interesting!

    • Hi Debbra. Good, inexpensive fruit is one of my fav. things about SEA. Living in Korea, where fruit is horrendously expensive, it is such a treat that buying fruit does not kill the food budget.

  13. After all those years in Penang, I have never heard of a Bengal currant. I am missing all the delicious tropical fruit in Penang. There were some really old rambutan and dragonfruits in an upscale grocery store near me in Texas, and they were so dried out and sad looking compared to the fresh ones I was used to buying from the roadside fruit stands. The Tropical Fruit Farm operates a juice stand near the Penang Botanical Garden, and I always liked to cap off a morning at the garden with a Coconut-Pandan smoothie.

    • Hi Michele. You just can’t beat the fresh fruit of SEA. Being back in Korea, I have to budget for fruit. It’s just so expensive here!

  14. Oh, the fruit looks so delicious! I really enjoyed reading your post!

    • Hi Marilyn. Thanks for your kind words. I would go back here in a moment, just to more fruit! 🙂

  15. There is a Tropical Fruit World nearby just over the border into New South Wales, Australia.I went there years ago and was amazed by the large variety of fruit that they grow there. I like Dragonfruit and I adore figs.

    • Hi Kathy! If I had a fruit farm close by, I’d be making quite a few trips throughout the year. I’m assuming that it’s probably more expensive than Penang’s fruit farm, which is so ridiculously cheap!

  16. This is a neat opportunity. i love dragon fruit, rambutans, jack fruit, mangostines and would love to actually see how they grow. Plus all those exotic asian spices as well.

    • HI Eileen. It really is a great way to learn about the fruit, and then get to eat as much as you like!

  17. You make me jealous Nancie with all those fresh fruits. That’s what I miss most in Calgary. I remember breakfast buffets in Vietnam with so many glorious fruits that I was a total pig. I would definitely be loading up at the end of the tour.

    • Hi Leigh! It was impossible not to eat a lot, but not a guilty pleasure…haha. Korea has quite a bit of fruit available these days, but so expensive. Of course, it’s not nearly as fresh as what you get in Penang or Vietnam. That being said, they have started to import dragon fruit from Vietnam, and they are surprisingly good. Costco often offers them at a half decent price.

  18. What a treat to taste all the fruit at the end, great tour!

    • It was a delicious treat, and I would go back again!

  19. Love the strange and the tasty! Can’t beat tropical fruits and you’ve highlighted some of my faves. Have to say I can’t go past passion fruit and pomegranates, probably my faves.

    • Hi Johanna,

      I like passion fruit in a smoothie. Pomegranates are delish!

  20. We didn’t make it to the Tropical Fruit Farm in Penang, but we did past by on our way back to the airport. We were told the best time to visit would be June-July – also the busy tourist season!

  21. Great post. Now I’m really hungry by watching this. The fruits look delicious.

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