a little pick(le)-me-up in kl.


nothing in kl got the chamorros and guambats amongst us in a pickle as much as coming across this preserved fruit stall in one of the many (many) shopping centres, which had a glorious array of tropical and not-so-tropical fruit pickles and preserves. many of us have childhood memories of going to the local mom and pops stores or snack stands and instead of picking up penny candy or sodas, our money would go to plastic sandwich bags filled with sliced green or semi-ripe papaya, green mango, or daigo (daikon radish), in a sweet pickling vinegar liberally seasoned with chopped fierce and fiery boonie peppers (bird chiles). this would often be the second breakfast on the bus to school, the mid-morning merienda, or afternoon snack. the scent of vinegar and chile would linger on our fingers and breath, not to mention our lunchboxes and schoolbags because this was pre-ziplock days....

all it took was one whiff of that pungent vinegar scent to lure us in. it was difficult to decide what to pick, without getting overloaded: there was the familiar green mango, yellow mango, and papaya, the unfamiliar-as-a-pickled-substance green grapes, yellow peach and surinam cherries, and the purely unfamiliar salak (snake fruit) and asam kelubi. luckily, we could pick our mix at whim, and return the day.


also available were a variety of rojak sauces and salty, sweet, spicy, stinky concoctions to dip the fruit in: salt and sugar, salt and sugar and chili, salt and sugar and chili and shrimp paste. we didn't have these as kids, which is a shame. i didn't get a chance to sample anything too whiffy, but there's always hope for next time.

21 fruits store
sungei wang plaza
jalan bukit bintang


Did you have to talk about pickles? *sigh* This is one of the flavors I miss from Guam. The Hawaiian style pickled mangos are so different from what I grew up with. But thanks for the picture, that food stand looks amazing!

What an amazing variety. Chinatown has more and more "strange" fruit which I'm always too chicken to try. I love the pickled mango more then ripe mango even if it's not dyed red especially if it's flavored with li hing mui.

I missed home alot..Santos..!! and i'm extremely envious.. of you . :)
Gonna link you on my food blog.. :) http://www.icecubejunkie.com/

oh I have never seen this before, the dipping dust looks really interesting.

a fruit pickle bar! Looks and sounds dreamy.

Hi Santos!

Everything looks delicious. I love pickles (sour or salty, not sweet) but have never seen such a variety. Thanks for the post.

I love pickled fruit. I'll pickle peaches when they are in season. Nice pictures!

hey santos, your blog is fabulous!