The “fruit truck”, which also sells a wide variety of vegetables, has proven to be one of my saving graces on Vieques. I don’t want to disrespect the local supermarkets by any means, but having shopped at both, I feel like the quality and freshness of the fruit and veggies is better at the fruit truck.
It’s easy to find. It’s right near the GE plant (General Electric) on Route 201. Coming from Monte Santo, which is what I do, it’s on your left. Turn there and you’re right in front of the fruit truck. Pull over anywhere and grab a parking spot.
Currently the fruit truck is open on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is an island, however, and that’s subject to change. Hours are loosely 9am-4pm. I make sure that I arrive in the morning, about 10am. I like to go when there’s still a lot of variety to choose from.
I love the fact that all of the fruits and vegetables are in bins, and available for you to pick up, touch, and squeeze. I like to know if the plum tomatoes are too ripe and squishy, same with the mangoes. At the supermarket it’s mostly prepackaged stuff, and again, a much more limited selection.
The fruit truck is understandably a popular spot, and can get quite busy. Once you’ve gathered your goods in a small metal basket, you join the line where a young lady weighs each item and adds the dollar values into her trusty calculator. Sometimes the line looks daunting, but it moves pretty quickly. The cashier has done this once or twice.
I was wondering if the fruit truck was going to be expensive or overpriced. I don’t think so. To be honest, I don’t know what the individual prices of what things are. They aren’t marked. But on my first trip there, I had a pretty full basket mixed with fruit and veggies, and my total was $16. No sticker shock there.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that they accept your credit card for purchases. I honestly wasn’t expecting that, and figured I’d have to dip into my cash reserves. Not the case, although you should always have some money on you, should things ever change.
My find of the day? Rambutan. I’ve eaten lychee fruit, but I’d never had rambutan before, and had only recently seen them at my local supermarket back home. I grabbed a small bag and put some in. I wasn’t sure how to check for ripeness, so I just selected some which had a uniform color and didn’t feel exceptionally hard.
When I returned home later that day, I googled how to open a rambutan. Pretty simple. Just pierce the outer flesh with you fingernail and peel. Super easy. You’re left with a round, white fleshy fruit with a seed in the middle. Just carefully eat around the seed. It’s as simple as that, and the fruit has to be one of my favorite now. So sweet and delicious!
I’m out of lettuce and rambutan, so I really need to go now. The fruit truck awaits!