The potato-like thing you see above doesn't look like it would be much cause for a blog post. I didn't think so myself when I picked up a pack of four of them yesterday. I was poking around the produce aisle, having just put back a carton of well-priced blueberries since I knew they'd rot before I'd have time to transform them into pancakes, when I noticed a package of four brown lumps on sale for a mere 99p right next to the dragon fruit. Since I'd never seen or heard of them before, and am always up for an exotic fruit experiment, I put the drab-looking chikoos in my basket.
Because the label boasted of a 'sweet caramel flavour' when the 'internal flesh is sugary brown,' I was expecting something something relatively pleasant from the purchase. But, oh my. Sugary brown indeed. This fruit is divine. It's sweetness reminds me of a date or a persimmon - or even chomping into a grainy bit of palm jaggery (those hunks of unrefined sugar you find in ethnic markets) since there's something similar about the texture - but it's lighter and more delicate than any of the above comparisons thanks to its high water content, and its butterscotchy nuances add another layer of refinement. Plus, taste aside, I find something very aesthetic about those dark shiny seeds.
I would normally never encourage anyone to patronize some over-bloated chain, but this is an exception. If you happen to live in London, I strongly suggest you head to your nearest Tesco and pick up a package of ripe Chikoos. I promise, you'll feel as if you've discovered a brand new crayon color in the coloring box.
Chikoos! How could I have never heard of them before?!