Time for some more things from the Asian food box that I got the culantro from. There is still plenty more to come, but they’re all longer lasting things that I can properly research for later. Unlike today’s herb and fruit, which are both perishable.
Much like the culantro, rau ram is noted for being similar to coriander. It’s one of those weird things that I have found whilst following this food list – when it comes to trying these new and different foods there is nearly always a known food to relate it to. The only thing that comes to mind where I had real trouble linking it back to something concrete was the feijoa I had four years ago. However, even then I made a vague attempt. I guess it just speaks to the diverse selection of food available instead of there being a limited combination of chemicals.
Anyway, since rau ram is also known as Vietnamese coriander it makes sense to make use of this herb in the same way you would regular coriander. After a bit of searching around I found this recipe for a fish stew that used rau ram.
Compared to the culantro I found the rau ram really disappointing. It did say in the recipe that the end result could be soapy… and it was soapy. The reason for the soapiness was the rau ram and that’s something I could taste in the raw leaves. There was a hint of the coriander aroma there, but it was weak compared to the championship knockout of the culantro.
I was going to write up the sapodilla a week ago but, as you may be able to see from the picture, it wasn’t completely ripe yet. You know what happens when you try to eat an unripe sapodilla? Well, it’s like one of those scenes from a Looney Tunes cartoon where they eat so much alum powder that their mouth seizes up. It just takes all the moisture from your mouth to the point that you can feel individual taste buds screaming for water.
So, I wrapped the cut sapodillas in clingfilm and waited until they ripened. Four days later and we had nice squishy fruit that didn’t want to kill us. Instead the flesh was so so sweet and I could easily scoop it out with a spoon. For me the taste was like if you saturated a pear with honey and then added some condensed milk – worlds apart from the taste of the unripened fruit.