One of the things I miss the most about living in Vietnam (aside from the coffee!) is the mind-boggling array of fruits available fresh everyday. The memory of the fruit ladies cycling around our neighbourhood, selling bags of fresh sweet pineapples or mangosteens by the kilo; heaps of brilliant scarlet rambutans looking like little muppet heads for sale by the side of the road - it haunts me while I stare grimly at a pile of dusty-looking apples selling for more than a dollar a piece here in the supermarket in Japan.
My favourite of them all, the bestest of fruit is the passionfruit. (Some people prefer mangoes, but I always feel that if I wanted to eat a pine tree, I'd go back to Canada) I like it in all forms, but the most simple is as a juice. Koto, a great restaurant near the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, sells a fabulous version mixed with ginger and pineapple juice, that is the bees' knees, and I miss it daily.
Peter saw passionfruits at the market in Ofuna the other day, and sweetly brought one home for me. I scraped it out, and mixed it with a little water, a spoon of sugar, and some ice. If it hadn't been before noon, I might have added a slug of gin, which complements the tangy taste well.
Hanoi, I'm counting the days until I return!