Maldivian Fruits - An exotic treat
Maldives is renowned for its beauty. It is also known for fish, the amazing underwater beauties and the kind you eat. But, we rarely hear about Maldivian agriculture. Although not a lot of species of plants grow in the Maldives, the plants that do thrive here yield amazing results.
The sad thing is that most visitors to the Maldives are not aware of this fact and end their vacation without tasting any real Maldivian fruits. This may be due to the fact that the fruits provided in most Maldivian tourist establishments are mostly imported. A variety of factors contribute to this, one being that Maldivian agriculture is still budding and cannot meet the full demand of the tourism industry. Additionally, for many, the cost of buying imported fruits is lower than buying local produce for a variety of reasons.
Still, considering the succulent taste of the local fruits, it would be considered a crime not to taste a few local natural delights while in the Maldives.
An easy route to take is to arrange a visit to the local market in Malé. For those of you staying at establishments near the capital, this can be arranged easily, as all establishments can arrange a Malé excursion. For those staying in various other atolls without access to the capital, it would be a good idea to take one of the excursions to the local market of a closeby inhabited islands. Those staying in guest houses are the luckiest bunch, as you can explore the island you are staying on and see what they have to offer.
One of the most unique and delicious fruits available in the Maldives (apart from the coconut) is the Maldivian mango, or as it is locally known, Dhivehi Anbu. It is a seasonal fruit and is abundantly available twice a year during the mango season. Most of the mangos are supplied by the farmers in the southern atolls, namely, Addu, Fuvahmulah and Laamu Atoll. Although different in size and shape from its cousins around the world, the true uniqueness of the Maldivian mango is its taste. Lacking the minty taste and gluey texture found in many foreign mangos, the Maldivian mango has flesh that is sweet and melts in your mouth.
Another fruit you should try is the local sugar apple. Known as the Dhivehi Atha, this fruit is a rare find in the islands these days as the trees are not grown on farms, rather grown in home gardens. But, if you are really lucky you just might spot these at a local market.
A true favorite of most visitors to Maldives and one that is more readily available has been the locally grown bananas. Small and yellow when ripe, these bananas are one of the most widely produced fruits in the country. Like all other fruits grown in the Maldives, the local bananas too have the scrumptious sweetness to rival its foreign imports.
Some other fruits that are grown locally, have the distinctive Maldivian flavor, that you can also check out are passion fruit, papaya, watermelon, guava, pomegranate and, the more recent addition, pineapple.