Wood apple (Vietnamese : Trái Quách) is a special food in Tra Vinh Province. Tourists can find trai quach (wood apple) sold everywhere along the sidewalk. Trai quach is also planted in many local people’s yards. However, Cau Ke District is its true home.
Trai quach has been a part of Tra Vinh for more than half a century. A Quach tree stands about seven to eight meters tall, has small leaves with a body of feroniella. Usually, a seven-year-old quach tree will start producing fruit, which looks just like a gray plastic ball, with many tiny dots on it. When it matures, trai quach spreads a faint aroma, although not as strong as trai thi, which is still enough to fascinate and attract people.
On a hot and muggy day, by mixing trai quach with some sugar, milk and ice, we will have one unique refreshing drink. The combination of the irresistible smell and the sour taste of trai quach, along with the sweetness of sugar and milk can quickly make you forget the summer heat. In Cau Ke, people also use trai quach to make a specialty wine. This wine will not only bewitch people with the signature aroma of trai quach, it will also balance blood pressure, remove body aches and helps your liver. Trai quach is commonly sold at Cau Ke Market, Bac Lieu Market or even in HCMC. In Cambodia, quach is planted widely. People there usually enjoy trai quach with peppers and salt; however, nowhere else uses quach the same way as Vietnam.