When Oranges are Green, Viet-Nam

by on October 19, 2008

Vietnam Green Oranges

Vincent: “… But you know what the funniest thing about Europe is?”

Jules: “What?”

Vincent: “It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it’s just – it’s just there it’s a little different”

As many of you will quickly recognize, that was a bit of dialogue between Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) in the movie Pulp Fiction. How true those words ring for almost any traveler, and not just for Europe.    Discovering those little differences is part of what draws us to travel and explore.   Since we’ve gotten home from our recent travels we’ve been able to catch up with some of our friends to swap stories and share moments.  One of the most frequent questions they ask is, “So what was the strangest, or weirdest thing you ate?”

green-oranges-vietnam

Simultaneously, we would both pause and think.  Weird is such a relative term.  We had frog legs, congealed blood, and freshwater eel, but none of that seemed weird to us.  We eat that here at home.  Same goes for chicken feet, gizzard, and other oddities.  Inevitably, our thought lead us to the same answer, “One of the weirdest things were the oranges.”


What?!?  What’s so weird about oranges?

The oranges were green.  A deep, dark, lime green rind, with a center that was still a beautiful vibrant orange.  The taste was sweet, similar to a tangelo, and the segments were the same as a regular orange.  It was just so intriguing to be eating a green orange.  It’s just another one of those “little differences” that make travel so interesting.

These are weird to us, but normal for others. Curious about why the oranges were green, we discovered a couple places giving great explanations.  Check them out Here and Here. On a scarier note, after researching a bit about the green oranges, and finding this, we are damn glad we didn’t try to sneak any back into the U.S.  Now you know.

green-oranges-vietnam

“two kilo’s, please” !


So now we ask you, “What have been one of the strangest, weirdest, or “little different” things you’ve eaten in your travels?”

Previous Viet-Nam posts you might enjoy reading and viewing:

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Manggy October 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm

We get sweet, green oranges here, too– though I’m not sure if sometimes I’m looking at mandarin oranges or tangerines. The rind is a little thinner so they might not be actual oranges.
A long time ago (er, 2004) I once ate snails in Paris. That’s about as weird as it gets for my tongue, hee :)

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2 Kitt October 19, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Interesting! Glad you didn’t try to sneak any back, too. I’d hate to see your yard quarantined.

I always talk about silk worms being the weirdest thing I’ve eaten. They’re not bad, once you get past the idea. I had them a few times, and even cooked them (with help) once. You throw away the ones that don’t wiggle.

I’ve learned it’s best to avoid foods in Asia that are attempting to be like something typically Western, such as pizza or birthday cake. Your brain gets all set up to enjoy something that reminds you of home, but it’s always off somehow, and usually not in a good way.

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3 noobcook October 20, 2008 at 12:38 am

how very interesting, I thought they resemble limes. despite the link about why you can’t bring them back, I think I still dare to try one if I see it =D

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4 RecipeGirl October 20, 2008 at 5:08 am

Hmm. interesting green oranges.

We unknowingly ate ‘squirrel’ in France during a multi-course dinner.

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5 Justopia October 20, 2008 at 6:15 am

Good question! Living in various countries I’ve eaten many things that are not on a usual US table both knowingly and often unknowingly, but the weirdest thing, probably the “ickiest” thing I ended up ingesting was boiled blood. Having just arrived in the Philippines, my first expat assignment, I sat down in the company cafeteria to a nondescript bowl of soup. A sort of light brown bowl of bland broth with what I thought were black beans. I ate a few spoonfuls and didn’t notice my American colleague’s raised eyebrow. He’d been there for months finding his way through the food maze and he knew something I didn’t.

I looked up and asked, “What kind of bean soup is this?” His response? With a chuckle and a smile, “Oh, those aren’t beans. That’s boiled pig’s blood.”

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6 Chez us October 20, 2008 at 9:13 am

Interesting! While I consider us adventurers in the food department, so far all I can think of is: snails (many times, love them), pigs feet (love them but have not had since I was a kid) and tripe (we both hate it).

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7 Happy Cook October 20, 2008 at 9:31 am

In India also we have these same oranges which are green

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8 Happy Cook October 20, 2008 at 9:32 am

I think we have :-)

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9 matt wright October 20, 2008 at 10:44 am

Horse, in France. Tasted good to me to be honest!

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10 Aariq October 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

My favorite is how in Thailand, drinks are often served in small bags. It seems ridiculous coming from the car-dominated US, but when you’re on bike or foot, it’s perfect. Bike’s don’t have cupholders, but they certainly do have handles to hang your drink from. Somehow thai iced tea tastes just a little better when served in a bag.

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11 Sandie October 20, 2008 at 12:37 pm

What’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten?

I wouldn’t say it’s all that weird, but they certainly were a once in a lifetime try for me…Rocky Mountain Oysters. They actually tasted good, I just couldn’t get past the thought of what they were.

In some instances, I think it’s best to try new things BEFORE someone tells you what it is you are actually eating. It can be awfully hard not to let your mind get in the way of your taste buds when trying unusual foods!

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12 Hélène October 20, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Yes, this is weird. I did not experience eating weird food anywhere. But my husband did in Africa. He said that he tried snakes, crocodile and other animals that we don’t really eat in North America.

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13 Marvin October 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I’d have to say one of the weirdest things I’ve eaten is raw pickled goat meat (called kilawin) in the Philippines. I didn’t have much of it, but enough to make me appreciate it;)

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14 maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) October 21, 2008 at 1:09 pm

As Happy cook said, we get these in india and can be quite tasty. As for weird, I think pork and beef qualify as that for me as I didn’t grow up eating them (though do now.) One persons weird is another boring dinner

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15 zenchef October 21, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Oh cool! Green oranges. I never even seen one.
The weirdest thing i ate was a snake soup in Hong Kong.. made with 10 different kinds of venimous snakes. Yum.. delicious! :-)

I’m so jealous you met Mark/Manggy during his trip. Very cool! :-)

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16 Donald October 22, 2008 at 4:08 am

Those look cool though.

After reading about that citrus psyllid, I too, am glad you didn’t smuggle any in. Wow. Where is the story about that creature in the main stream media?

Strangest thing I ate was when I was in the Army, in training, I once ate live insects. Not good.

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17 veron October 22, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Oh, I miss this type of oranges. But I’m with Manggy , I think the rinds are thinner with the ones we get from the Philippines.

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18 We Are Never Full October 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm

love the quote. i need to rent that movie again. to be honest, i don’t think i’ve ever eaten anything totally ‘weird’ in my travels. to me it may be different, but to the people of that culture it’s completely normal. what i will say that i notice as ‘the little things’ is how most other cultures treat eating, cooking and food. it must makes me realize we have a long way to go here in the United States to reach that state where the majority of people in our country really respect, love and cherish eating and food. when i travel how a culture treats food and drink is what makes me happy.

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19 courtney October 26, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I have seen these in photos and always though it was a trick with editing. Love the contrast!

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20 Cakelaw October 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm

How interesting! I made the arrogant assumption that an orange was called an orange because of its colour – you learn something new all the time.

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21 Jesse October 27, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Mmm I love those green oranges. They’re so amazingly sweet! My mom used to juice them up in Indonesia, and the first time I had a sip, I thought she’d added some sugar to it!

Hmmh, I’m not sure what the weirdest thing I’ve eaten was… I grew up eating boiled snails on the side streets of Jakarta and roasted pigeon brains. Had snake soup when I was nine, and thought it tasted almost exactly like chicken soup. Haha! Oh, I think the weirdest thing for me was treacle pudding! It was so weird!!! I had it about a month ago in a pub, and thought it was just overwhelmingly sweet and the texture was kinda… weird. Hmmh.

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22 Bren October 27, 2008 at 8:44 pm

what a great pic D & T. you guys are so freakin’ cute. i wonder if i can find green oranges over here… hmmm. i’ll be in DC in a few days so i’ll look there too. NOT. sometimes i feel we can be so deprived in what we grow. that just means we have to travel. and we all love that!

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23 mochachocolatarita October 29, 2008 at 6:18 am

hehehehe…i love the green oranges more than the orange ones (we have those too in indonesia ^_^)

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24 Big Boys Oven October 29, 2008 at 10:50 am

we have such in Malaysia but from your photos those looks really juicy and refreshing,………………… lovely green oranges!

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25 dainty10 October 29, 2008 at 12:49 pm

By far… hardsmar served in a light soup in a steamed papaya… Actually that is the pinyin pronounciation. It’s actually frog oviduct. (Took me a while to figure that one out since Google hasn’t a clue what hardsmar was).

I think it’s so weird bc of the color and texture. It was a white, semi-opaque helical soft squishy thing that I couldn’t understand (until I found out what it was).

I absolutely love your blog and your pictures, and after backtracking through it, totally inspired by your garden before I realized that I have a black thumb and pretty much any plant that I’ve come into contact with has died… even “impossible to kill plants” such as the money tree or cacti… So, I’ll save my love of plants for food and ogling your pictures. :D

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26 Tiffany November 1, 2008 at 11:15 am

How fascinating! Thanks for sharing; I had no idea there were green oranges or why oranges are orange. Your blog is fantastic, by the way. :)

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27 Y November 5, 2008 at 2:24 am

I love the colour. They look like massive limes. Can’t think of anything I would consider weird, that I’ve eaten in my travels. Although, in Northern Ireland where my boyfriend comes from, they have something deep fried called “vegetable roll”, that doesn’t contain any vegetables in it! How’s that for weird! :P

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28 Jill November 7, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I think I’ve had them before. They were called kintaro(?) at our farmers market. Tasted like a mix of orange and pomelo, very juicy and delicious

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29 Coffee and Vanilla November 10, 2008 at 10:44 am

Very interesting post. Recently I bought on the market very sweet and juicy mandarins with green skin, after couple of days in the house they started turning orange and yellow…. now I know why :)

By the way, great blog, I got here through Bren’s website.

Margot

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30 Jennifer March 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I think it’s weird when people freak out over pork blood.

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31 Lân June 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm

In my country, that very normal. We have a lot of kind of oranges and many things you call oddity.

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32 Sonny June 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

The weirdest thing is we call that green-oranges “cam”, which means “orange” while it is green LOL.
BUT our green-oranges has nothing to do with the Asian citrus psyllid, it is green and sweet from the beginning and the orange tree lives strongly through years.

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33 Hoà October 1, 2010 at 6:24 am

In Vietnam, We eat Green-Orange even more than normal Orange :D , and you can eat many delicious and special food, but some foreign visitor feel sick when they see us eat them :D

Have you ever eaten a baby-duck when It’s still in the egg ? VERY Delicious,

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