I always get excited discovering a new variety of fruit – the tropical world is loaded with them. On our second day in Sri Lanka, we came across what looked like an oversized passion fruit. After asking what this fruit might be, we were told it was a woodapple, and that it was used to make a refreshing juice.

“You try for 50 rupees, with vanilla ice cream 100 rupees,” the vendor urged us. Of course, we couldn’t resist this potentially delicious drink for under a buck. He cut through the outer wooden shell and separated the fruit into two halves revealing a brown pulpy blob inside – very unapple-like and, I should add, rather unappealing.

Unfortunately, the warmish juice tasted the way it looked. The brown viscous drink tasted faintly of overripe papaya, banana, maple syrup, and baby vomit, but the huge scoop of ice cream quickly melted in and overpowered the drink with its vanilla flavor. The beige concoction was now drinkable. We smiled and assured the vendor that it was “delicious,” but I’m afraid we were being polite. It certainly wasn’t what I would call refreshing – but, hey, it was an experience, right?

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