Saturday, October 5, 2013

Travel: Desaru Fruit Farm, Johor, Malaysia

Durians, the king of fruits

One of the things I love about living in a tropical country like Singapore is the fruits. I love tropical fruits and I missed them when we were living in the States, although now I also miss the different types of fresh berries available there. We checked out Desaru Fruit Farm a few weeks ago using a Groupon deal that included a round trip coach ride to a small chocolate factory, Desaru farm tour, and durian (and fruits) buffet. It was a nice and relaxing experience. I would recommend it to people who wants to do a day trip out of Singapore or a getaway with family and friends.

Different types of fruits and herbs are grown in the farm. I love that I get to see how some of my favorite fruits grow. For example, durians (of course). Below is a durian tree. The word says it all. "Duri" means thorn in Malay. So it is spiky from the outside. Be careful not to get hit by one of those. Just kidding, they say durians naturally only fall at night.

Then my other favorite fruit: Dragon fruits. They are mildly sweet in taste and soft in texture. My little one loves it. One interesting thing I learned is that the fruit will only grow after the (yellow) flower withers and falls off.

This is a young jackfruit. It needs a male and female part (the green pods) to be present for the fruit to grow. It is so good when we make it into rojak, which is a combination of different fruits mixed with tamarind, chili, and brown sugar.

These are roselle flowers. They make a refreshing beverage and known to have antihypertensive property and rich in antioxidants. The kids couldn't stop drinking it.

Last but not least is this stevia plant. Stevia is a natural sweetener with zero glycemic index and is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. You only need a little amount to sweeten your food and it is getting popular among the health conscious people. I tried munching on the leaf and indeed it was very sweet. I think I'm going to start using stevia in my cooking and baking.

Then the tour guide pointed us to this "thousand fingers bananas," which is not edible but believed to be a good luck for having children when you touch it.

After the tour, there is a lovely garden and a fish pond where children can feed the Koi fish.

There is also a mini zoo to complete the tour. Quite a variety of animals there including rabbits, goats, chicken, ducks, monkeys, ostriches, and a thousand-year turtle.

The happy toddler afterwards :)

Lastly, the durian feast and fruit buffet to end the day!

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