Thailand is popularly known as the “land of smiles”, “land of yellow robes” and probably another popularity of Thailand is a land of tropical fruits as the country is blessed with a myriad of delicious tropical and temperate fruits which only vary depending on the season.
Even though a fruit may not be in season, it can be found in candied or preserved form. Moreover, some fruit like grapes are even coached to bear fruit all year round. Indeed, Thailand is a paradise for those who love fruit. Generally Thai fruits are sweet including those which are traditionally sour such as santol and tamarind.
Since fruit crops in Thailand are plentiful all the year round, they are becoming more and more important export earners for the country which in 1989 earned up to 8,503.74 million baht from its export of fresh and processed fruits to nearby countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan which prefer Thai mangoes especially their favourite type known in Thai as “Nang Klang Wan”.
Regarding seasonality, Thai fruit crops can be classified into two groups. The first is a seasonal fruit crop which includes mangoes, durians, rambutans, longans, sugar apples, mangosteens and lichees. The second group is a year-round crop which includes pineapples, bananas, papayas, and jackfruits. This is the reason why fresh fruit is available in the local market everyday of the year.
Recently, several temperate fruit crops such as apples, peaches and strawberries have been successfully grown in the hilly areas of northern Thailand. Actually, the major fruit-producing areas are located mostly in the eastern and southern regions of the country, even then the central region also produces a variety of fruit for the markets in every season, for example pomeloes are largely grown in Nakhon Pathom Province while Ratchaburi Province is widely known as the grape-producing area etc.
As Thai fruit farmers are always eager to plant new varieties and improve the existing varieties, Thailand is never without fruit. In the country side, some fruit trees such as bananas are also used as a fence around their houses, though they are far inferior to barbed-wire, they provide greenery and fresh air to all living nearby.