like a lot of people, i am also partial to texture of food. anything slimy like okra or natto makes me recoil. i recently threw out a dish i made which, for some strange reason, ended up having a glutinous and stringy consistency. funny, there are people who love this.
this leads me to the subject of tropical fruit, something i have always tried to like but can't get around it. memories of gasoliney smelling papaya and ripe, gooey mango — amongst other more "boring" north american type fruit — being prepared by my mother to feed her zoo of parrots and tropical birds will always be with me. though many a time i tried to force myself to like these fruits, i just can't. i know it's strange, especially when i get questioning looks as to how i could NOT like these things. i didn't say ALL tropical fruit, pass me litchis, mangosteen or rambutan any day — i won't say no.
interestingly enough, i learned through the painful experience of my friend's brother, that the mango tree is related to those potentially deadly peanuts. the sap of the tree is highly irritating and touching it caused severe hives with a trip to the emergency ward.
all this to say that while i am not a fan of certain tropical fruit, i still find them amazingly exotic and beautiful to look at. trips to chinatown and indian shops make me stop and inspect them, wishing my aversion to them would disappear. even their names, custardapple [cherimoya], sapodilla and guava sound appealing.
here is an amazing link to a great site where you can get a view of a myriad of tropical fruit [and some regular ones we know but with an amazing variety shown], some of them you may never even ever have heard of before. there is also a section on bananas and mangoes — of every imaginable variety. take a look at the "praying hands bananas" in the section on bananas and then make sure check out the sections at the bottom for the links about caterpillars, the obscenely pornographic pseudobombax ellipticum and one amazingly good looking baby. very cute, i must say. this is the author's (other) photograhy site, with several recipes.
this is another link for a vast variety of tropical fruit to look at.