I love fruit. It’s no secret, I could easily eat different fruit for every meal every day and be completely content. So, it makes total sense that my favourite place in Suva is the market.
And it’s big! You can’t fail to notice the massive building on the corner of the intersection opposite Tappoo city, just down from the bus station. On several days a week the vendors spill out into the undercover outer and line the sides of the building, they are accompanied by flower ladies, seafood sellers and handicraft persons who hide at the back of the lower section.
Before I left I knew to expect tropical fruits, obviously. Papayas (paw paw) and pineapples always seem to be in season, mangos were abundant from mid-November onwards, bananas have made a great come back recently and a welcome addition of passion fruit have just come to market. Lots of the banana farms were wiped out by cyclone Winston last year, consequently the availability was scarce and price was high, now they seem to be making a great recovery! Here at the home stay we have a mango tree (over the Mango Bar) but you have to fight the children for the fruit and I can’t take candy from a baby.
Home favourites such as apples, pears, oranges and grapes are imported from New Zealand and Australia but cost a bomb in comparison to the locally grown produce. So, unless I really am craving some I leave these alone in favour of buying local!
Lemons look like limes as they are green, but much bigger. Limes are sparse. But a curious little citrus fruit called Moli is abundant. They’re just smaller than a ping pong ball and green/yellow/orange in colour. Used pretty much everywhere when cooking and in juice to give it a little extra zing!
I’m also a big fan or Soursop. Which, looks like the most hideous fruit ever but it is delicious. Its green/brown and spikey, you can only eat it once it’s gone kind of mushy and the skin just about to go mouldy. It sounds awful but the flesh is white, flaky (a bit fish like) and tastes sweet with a sour after taste. The only thing is they’re so big I can never finish one!
By Kat Barber - Project Coordinator
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