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craving of the day: baby mangos

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I’d like a baby mango.

If I’ve timed this correctly by the time you read this I’ll be enjoying a mango or two in the land of mangos.


Written by joann

January 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm

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a little bit of the usa

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I don’t always eat rice or noodles. Sometimes the Californian in me needs a salad. It’s about double the regular rice or noodle meal but it’s also light and healthy. This one is from JuiceBar at the Raffles Place MRT.

Look closely. This Shanghai salad has corn, carrots, mushrooms, tofu, chicken…. and RICE. Okay, maybe getting away from rice is a little harder than I make it seem.

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Written by joann

August 27, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Posted in american, singapore, so fresh

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$10 japanese grapes

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Thiena (the new flatmate) brought these home after a trip to Takashimaya (a big Japanese dept store on Orchard Road). They are $10 Kyoho grapes. My response: DAAAAAAAANG … what kind of grapes are THOSE?

The first bite was strange. They had an almost fermented/wine-like taste to them. They were super juicy with a slightly bitter skin and one single seed. The flesh inside looks like run of the mill grape guts while the skin is a deep, deep purple nearly black color.

After a few more grapes I became a full fledged fan.

I can’t explain it and I don’t want to pay for it but these are the grapiest grapes I’ve ever tasted. They’re like the real, adult version of all of the fake grape candies of the world. They are awesome cold and very refreshing.

Nowadays I find myself in front of the fruit section eyeing these ridiculously priced grapes. Am I balla enough to spare $10 for a mere handful of these babies?

Written by joann

August 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Posted in japanese, singapore, so fresh

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joann’s no good terrible weekend

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What a terrible weekend. Work + rain + sore throat = bad, gloomy days. Definitely not one of those textbook sunny California weekends. Instead of partying it up at Boss with the rest of the gang for Cindy and Klee’s February Birthday Spectacular (ok, they don’t really call it that), I’m stuck at home in my jammies watching the Disney Channel with my blankie like a 12 year old. Except 12 year olds probably don’t have blankies.

I’ve been contemplating a possible change to my blog template. None of the ones that WordPress has posted really catch my eye. Plus the one I have up is no longer listed which means once I pick a new one… I can’t go back! Fear of commitment. What if the grass isn’t greener on the other side?

Anyhow what do I have to do on this wet and wild Saturday night but to blog? No choice really. Good thing I have loads of pictures that have yet to be posted. For this series, we’re going way back into the picture archives to October and my Philippines adventures.


First of all, those are not my hands. I do not have man hands. I have dainty girl hands. Those are my Pop’s hands. The alien brain looking biznaz is the awesome fruit known as mangosteen. On this side of the globe, they are often juiced and made the object of infomercials toting weight loss and super vitamin status. Fresh mangosteen is sweet, sour, and delicious. The juice version just doesn’t compare. I’m not gonna hate though since my Dad says that it helps him control his blood sugar.

Unopened, mangosteen is smaller than a baseball with a deep red almost purple skin. Inside are white pulpy sections with big ass seeds. Pop one of the sections in your mouth and enjoy the juices. Careful when chewing because you don’t want to bite into the seed. When there’s nothing left but seed and white pulpy mass, spit it out.

Not a good time to wear a white shirt, the red skin will turn your fingers the same color. Trader Joe’s sells dehydrated mangosteen. It’s just alright.

My all time favorite fruit from the Philippines is atis aka custard apple. Atis is a cousin of the cherimoya and the guyabano, the former of which you can find in some Asian markets.


Green and black with bumpy rinds. They aren’t exactly pretty from the outside (or the inside). When I pick out atis from the market I inspect the bumps to make sure that there are no major cracks. You see, people like atis. Worms also like atis. Big cracks = more likelihood for janky worms. Ew. Apparently, they’re ok to eat and they’ll make you sing better. Uh. I’ll keep my mediocre voice.

When the atis is ripe you can squeeze it lightly and pull it apart to expose the cream-colored flesh.


Apparently, the seeds are poisonous and are sometimes used for pesticide. Thanks, Wikipedia. Pull off one of the soft sections with your teeth and enjoy. If there’s a seed, spit it out. Continue until you are bursting at the seams with custard apple goodness. Tastes nothing like custard or apple. Good atis are sweet and bad ones are bland. There’s a slight hint of sourness but the overall taste is hard to describe.

I’ve graduated (since I started writing this post) from the Disney Channel to VH1’s Rock of Love 2. Quality TV for all. Hope your weekend is going funner and drier than mine.

PS. I’ve started using Google Reader since the number of blogs I frequent is growing and figured I’d make it easier for folks to add my blog to their Reader if they want. The link is in the upper right hand corner – in pink, of course.

Written by joann

February 23, 2008 at 9:51 pm

delicious pomelooooo

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The title is in honor of my first referral from del.icio.us today. Wow! Thanks!

Every new year my Mom insists that I buy round food to have in the house when the new year starts. Round food? Yes. Round food. Stuff that is round. This year she left oranges, sesame balls, siopao, and pomelo. She thinks it brings good luck. I don’t know if this is Filipino thing or some provincial thing or some family thing. It doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that I have lots of round food at my house every new year.


The oranges were very sweet and were from my Dad’s fruit trees but the real jewel is/was the pomelo. In Tagalog, suha (sue-ha, accent on the HA). This one was green on the outside with little yellow spots and pink flesh inside. Sometimes they come with whiter flesh and/or a yellower skin. This one was about the size of a cantaloupe (they don’t call it Citrus maxima for nothing).

It was a terror to peel. If you come across a pomelo, take a knife to it and score the darn thing so you don’t have to fight with it like I did. After some work you get the naked pomelo and a big mound of skin. It shrinks to about 2/3rds its original size.


Too bad there isn’t more you can do with all that damn peel… Stick your thumb into the belly button side (the part not sticking up in the picture) and tear the thing in half to get to the pulp.


It’s pretty easy to pull the skin off each segment off. The little white things at the top are little baby seeds. I spit those out. Really bitter, not yummy. The flesh takes like grapefruit but sweeter. Somehow grapefruit tastes harsher and more acidic. Some folks dip it in salt to add a little more umph. You don’t have to finish off the whole thing at once as I find that it keeps really well even outside of the fridge for a few days. Be sure to not have any of the actual pulp exposed if you leave it around like that.

Tang, the makers of your favorite orange flavored breakfast beverage mix, makes a pomelo flavor in the Philippines. It pairs very nicely with rum. You can find Pomelo Tang at some Asian markets but your best bet is probably the Filipino store. Pomelos appear to be in season as they are all over the place these days. Grab one and munch away.

Written by joann

January 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Posted in so fresh

how to eat lanzones

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You have to hit the Philippines during specific fruit seasons. Otherwise, you miss out on getting unique, tropical fruits that you can’t enjoy stateside. One of my faves is lanzones. They look a little like longan and chicos, if you’re familiar with those. The difference is that I hate longans and chicos. Heh. The rule of thumb when picking out lanzones at the market is to find the ones covered in ants. The ants always get to the sweet ones. Buuuuut, these days sellers have been known to put ants on lanzones just to get folks to think that they’re sweet. Lanzones that aren’t sweet aren’t bland – they’re SOUR so beware.

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Written by joann

October 28, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Posted in filipino, philippines, so fresh, travels

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