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Six unique and exotic fruits you can find in Chowrasta Market, Penang

A whiff of travel brought Zac Teo to the Chowrasta Market in the very heart of Penang, as he explores fruits in Malaysia available here that are distinctly unique from the common array

Wet. That would be the word that I'd used to describe the state of the floor around Chowrasta Market. Being one of the famous wet markets in the state, the original Chowrasta Market was actually constructed in the region of 1890's by the local municipality then. The front facade then underwent a face lift in the 1920's and remained unchanged for decades. Finally, in 1980, an entirely new market was constructed in its place and stands as the Chowrasta Market that we know today.

Many are not aware of the definition of meaning for the name Chowrasta, what little more the history behind it. In the Urdu language, the word Chowrasta simply means four cross roads. How apt is it that when the great migration of immigrants to Malaya happened in the early 1900's, that when setting up this market, the crossroads of Penang Road became the home of this now historic spot. Fast forward many moons later, Chowrasta Market and its bazaar plays home to a tapestry of stalls ranging from vegetables, poultry, dry household items, second-hand book stores to fruit stalls.

I have never seen so many unique fruits in one particular market, and I do marvel that its truly unbelievable! Visitors, local and abroad, will be able to seek out many exotic fruit right here. Certain fruits in this list are even exclusive to Malaysia, and its great pleasure for me to present a list of six unique fruits that you can find in Chowrasta Market, Penang.

1. Jackfruit / Nangka

Local stall owner slicing up the huge jackfruit. Photograph: ES Teo/

Yellowish flesh with a sweet crunchy texture composites the jack fruit. Photograph: ES Teo/

2. Amrah/Ambala

Green in colour and hard in nature, Ambra fruits are staple in Malaysian cuisines. Photograph: ES Teo/

Juice is commonly extracted from the Ambra fruit to create the drink. Photograph: ES Teo/

3. Pineapples

Pineapples of the Malaysian variation, small ones are commonly used for prayers Photograph: ES Teo/

4. Passion Fruit

Distinctly different in colour from the orange coloured flesh, the exterior of passionfruits are green-ish, almost apple-like Photograph: ES Teo/

5. Apple Guava / Red Jambu

Apple Guavas are a crowd favourite here at Chowrasta Market . Photograph: ES Teo/

6. Dragon Fruit

Uniquely special, the dragon fruit is known for its plethora of nutrients Photograph: ES Teo/

Chowrasta Market is located on the lower part of Penang Road, on the intersection of Lebuh Tamil and Penang Road. Wet Markets and bazaars are open from 6.30am onwards daily, and transportation is available plentifully via public bus. Best time to visit to take in the culture would be about 10am to 11am, whereby the sunlight is out, stall owners hawking over the top of their voices and excellent photography opportunities.
Zac Teo

Zac Teo


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