Fruity nostalgia

bubble tea

flavoured bubble tea with tapioca

Recently, my boyfriend and I discovered bubble tea. In fact, the bubble tea variations of bubble tea slushy/smoothie and bubble tea milkshake have become quite an obsession. Bubble tea real fruit slushy for him and bubble tea real fruit milkshake for me. Together, we’ve sampled half of the fruits listed on the menu – and our spending at Tea Fusion is racking up. So we decided to start making our own. The quest to make our own bubble tea led to the discovery of what tapioca is and sparked nostalgia about fruits I miss from back home (the latter often leaves me salivating).

Guava, mango, African cherry, pepper fruit, African pear, cocoa, cashew apple, rose apple, coconut, sugar cane, Indian almond – these are the ones that leave me salivating. Partially growing up with my grandparents, it seemed back then that every family in town had its own mango farm or tree, same with cocoa, oranges and other exotic fruits. In the city, one of my neighbours (bless their hearts) had a guava tree that extended to our side of the fence (one has to love those high, brick Nigerian fences). I didn’t mind the mess the leaves from the tree mounted in our yard just like the neighbours didn’t mind when one of their daughters and I climbed up and down that guava tree like it was our second home.

I like these fruits in their solid forms than liquefied. Some of these fruits when combined as bubble tea slushy or smoothie would leave an explosive taste in your mouth, making you want more. I wasn’t sure how some combinations would fair as bubble tea milkshake. So we decided to experiment.

The recipe: bubble tea milkshake with exotic fruits
Ingredients: coconut, plum, guava, tapioca, syrup
Result: I liked the taste of the concoction. You could taste the flavour of each fruit, which I liked. I also liked that the fruits weren’t blended to total smoothness so I was able to chew the guava seeds and tiny pieces of coconut. This experimental bubble tea milkshake was very filling.

Here’s a list of my favourite Naija fruits (when I say ‘Naija fruits’ it doesn’t mean all the fruits originate from Nigeria. These are popular fruits in Nigeria that I really enjoyed – and I go coo coo for when I see them at grocery stores in Canada.)

….in no specific order

guava

guava


Guava

Nostalgia:
 hanging out in my neighbour’s guava tree. This guava tree didn’t have that many fruits but it was enough to make my day come guava season. My boyfriend is into gardening and organic farming. He often asks me what I would like in a vegetable garden if we were to grow one. My reply is often the same. “I want a guava tree. If you can grow me guavas, I promise I’d (insert farfetched promises).” …And did I mention we live in Alberta, Canada?

mango

mango


Mango

Nostalgia:
mangos and I have a very special relationship. I wasn’t joking when I said I salivate at the thought or sight of some of these fruits – and mangos did me in the most. Nigeria is a country that grows its own mangos, so not much of that imported stuff. I quite often enjoyed well cultivated, overly ripped mangos back home. I sometimes ate my mangos in a cool room at home.  Other times, mango juice traced down to my elbow as my sister and I make our way through the market, stopping to say hello to our favourite vendors.

African cherry

African cherry


African cherry
Nostalgia: while kids in America ran home after school to watch the Simpsons, my friends and I ran to the market after school (or during lunch break) to buy African cherries. And when I lived with my grandparents, the nearest African cherry tree was on public property that during season, one is sure to find a bunch of students with stones and slingshots, skillfully trying to bring down the high-hanging fruits.

pepper fruit

pepper fruit


Pepper fruit
Nostalgia: quite often, my sister or older relatives bought these. I don’t know why that was but they were the ones who often had them. I guess we kids at the time rather spend our money on frozen yogurt or overly sweet homemade ice cream. Green or ripped, I love it both ways.

African pear

African pear

African pear
Nostalgia: hmmm hmmm good – especially when spread on roasted corn. One of my favourite nostalgias. Whether out and about with my sister (who took me everywhere like she did her purse) or gyrating around our street block with my cousins or other kids from the block, African pear on roasted (sometimes boiled) corn on the cob was a must. This is one of the best street foods in Nigeria.

cocoa fruit

cocoa fruit


Cocoa
Nostalgia: another favourite nostalgia. this reminds me of my tomboy days, growing up with my grandparents. Oh how me and some neighbourhood kids used to have our way with those cocoa trees and fresh Cocoa seeds! These cannot be found in Canada…trust me, I’ve tried.

cashew apple

cashew apple


Cashew apple
Nostalgia: my nostalgia about Cashew apples are not throwing the seeds away. We would eat the fruit and save the seeds for roasting or boiling later. Roasted or boiled, the smell is intoxicating.

rose apple

rose apple


Rose apple
Nostalgia: this was one of the things I hated at first, but later became a junkie of.  You could catch me crunching on these on my way home from school, kicking stones on the ground and the dust settling around my foot then slowly on my white socks which I wasn’t suppose to get dirty.

coconut

coconut


Coconut
Nostalgia: cracking it open and using the juice to eat gari. This way, you don’t even need peanuts, banana or whatever else people like with their soaked gari.

sugar cane

sugar cane


Sugar cane
Nostalgia: eating it little by little, savoring every taste that hours later you’re still going at it even though your cousins have long finished theirs.

Indian almond

Indian almond


Indian almond
Nostalgia: my most recent nostalgia about Indian almond was when I was in Koh Pha Ngan while backpacking in SE Asia. I totally went coo coo when my friend and I discovered that the tree that held the hammocks at our hostel were Indian almond trees. The fruits were everywhere.

It’s interesting how visual cues, smell and taste can trigger memories and take us to places in our past like it was yesterday. If you’re in Nigeria, enjoy those fruits. One thing for sure, when I go for a visit, I shall confiscate some fruity goodies.

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~ by omonaij on February 19, 2012.

One Response to “Fruity nostalgia”

  1. […] are many things I love that I can easily become a walking ad for. Bubbletea. Prezi. My new HTC  1x (especially once I actually get a good hang of it). Using un-marketed […]

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