Rose Apples (Mountain Apples – Chompoo in Thai)

Rose Apples

Thais say Chompoo Si Dang to mean Red Rose Apples.

If you’ve never had ROSE APPLES, this is one Thai fruit you have to try when you visit!

These Thai fruits are one of my Thai food favorites. It’s not just grown in Thailand and Thai food, but it’s all over Asia. I first had these “apples” when I was hiking on a nature trail on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. I was on a long hike and dying for something besides the water I had been carrying.

I always carried about a gallon of water since I drank that much in five hours of hiking! There wasn’t much room for food.

I was hiking with a friend from the Philippines. We got to a stream and I saw these red fruits hanging on the tree – and thought that if I eat that fruit I’m probably going to die or go to he77! I asked him what it was… he said, oh, “it’s mountain apple”. I said, HUH?

These dull red apples were close enough to reach them. When he told me to help myself and eat until I couldn’t eat anymore – that’s exactly what I did. I even forgot to wash them off. There was probably bird poo on them and who knows what else?

There’s something about trying food for the first time when you’re over the edge with hunger. ANYTHING would taste good. Maybe, right? But, these rose apples are incredibly delicious anyway.

They are so refreshing – they have these juice cells that hold all this water. When you bite it and chew it – it is sooo refreshing – it was like jumping in a waterfall! Well, to me it was that day!

I’m not sure that you can find these in your Asian market. It’s likely that they wouldn’t be shipped from Asia since they are delicate fruit and ripen very quickly and sometimes unevenly. There’s a very short shelf-life on these, when they’re ripe they must be eaten quickly.

They are not that sweet. The skin has this very unique flavor that I liken to “mint” of some sort but I’m not that great with food tastes.

These are a great after-dinner dessert or a between courses snack – since it will clean your palate for the next course.

Ok – that’s my contribution to Joy’s Thai food blog – since she’s feeling a little ill tonight after we trekked up a waterfall this afternoon… Maybe the mosquitos, I really hope not.

Oh wait!

White Rose Apples – Are they Delicious?

Sometimes these rose apples are white instead of red.

White Rose Apples can be huge. They are usually not found in Thailand’s local markets. With its sour taste and not having enough meat to offer, many people would find it not worth buying. Believe it or not, some Thai people love to eat this white rose apple with sweet shrimp paste dipping sauce or dip it in Prig Glu-ah (salt and chili powder).

It was our first time seeing these tiny rose apples in white! So I had to get some and try them! It was only 25 THB (Thai baht) per kilogram (2.2 lb). I tried it, then my hubby Vern tried it, my mom tried it (she has never seen it in her 65 years), and baby Mali tried some too!

Our family voted this fruit a resounding NO WAY. It is not recommended (the white one) but it is never a waste of time to try something new, is it? At least we learned that it’s not a great taste.

The red ones are heavenly though, and we highly recommend them if you see them at the market.

The picture here is of some of the brightest red mountain apples we’ve ever seen. They are usually more like the photo on top of the page here in Thailand.

Rose apples grow in clusters, but this is a huge one! Image used with permission from Unsplsh.

Rose apples can be white, pink, or red. The pink and red ones are delicious!

Rose Apple Facts

Rose apples have many names like wax apples, Java apples, mountain apples, Semarang rose apples, and wax jambu. They grow wild in the Pacific Islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, and Southeast Asia, specifically the East Indies and Malaysia. They have been growing wild in these regions for centuries.

The rose apple tree is a member of the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) and is closely related to other popular tropical fruits like guava and strawberry guava, mangos, and lychees. Rose apples grow on large evergreen trees that can grow up to 30 meters (about 98 feet) tall.

The leaves are dark green and glossy, and the flowers are white and fragrant.

Rose apples are typically round or oval in shape and range in size from a small traditional apple to a large grapefruit. The skin is smooth and wax-like, and the flesh is white, pink, or red. The flesh is crisp and juicy, with a sweet and slightly floral or minty flavor.

Rose apples have a long history of cultivation and use in Southeast Asia. They are mentioned in ancient texts and are used in traditional medicine.

Rose apples are also a popular food item in many Southeast Asian cuisines. They are often eaten fresh, but can also be used in juices, smoothies, desserts, and other dishes.

Rose apples were introduced to the Americas and the Caribbean in the 18th century. They are now grown in many tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

Rose apples are particularly popular in Hawaii, where they are known as “lilikoi” and “mountain apples.”

Rose Apple Nutritional Info per 100 grams (3.5 oz)

  • Calories per – 25
  • Fat – .3 g.
  • Protein – .6 g.
  • Carbohydrates – 5.7 g.

Rose apples are high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium, niacin, thiamin, potassium, and sulfur.


Rose apples are a delicious and nutritious fruit with a long and rich history. They are a popular food item in many tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Rose apples are also significant in many Southeast Asian cultures.

They are very distinctive in shape and flavor, so if you see them in the forest they can provide some much-needed sustenance for a long hike!

Sawasdee Krup,

Vern & Joy