name that fruit!: rambutan.


a bonus name that fruit!: rambutan, nephelium lappaceum, a native of the southeast asia region that is related to the lychee (litchi), longan, and guarana. it looks like a takashi murakami vision realized: bright red, with chartreuse spikes, encasing an opaque eyeball with a black pupil of a seed. the name, rambutan, comes from the malay word for "hairy" which of course refers to its little fuzzy spikes. it, however, is not prickly nor sharp, but instead not unlike latex toy that...whoops. i just realized what it's just like, and i can't tell you, it was passed around at a recent bridal shower i attended. anyway, the spiky rind is latex bendy and once cracked through, the fruit is similar to the lychee in appearance--somewhat opaque flesh surrounding a large black drupe/seed, with a sweet, sticky juice--and similar in flavour, but not quite as delicate. well, with an exterior like that, would you be?


So that's what they are!! I've seen them at the markets, picked them up and played with their rubbery spikes but never bought them as I didn't know what they were! Lychee lover that I am, next time I'd better pick some up! How do you tell if they're ripe?

Oh, and that's a gorgeous photo by the way :D


I eat that all the time here in Hawaii when it's in season.

It does taste very similar to lychee.

<3 from hawaii

I'm going to have to make some little flashcards to remember these! Hope I run into these little guys someday...

you know they come in cans don't you? they even have the ones that have pineapple tidbits stuck to them, which is actually a brilliant combo for taste.

i like your blog, i came here thru basang panaginip.

Those rambutan are cool looking. I loved lychee the most when I was younger, but now my favorite is longan.

ellie, when they are ripe on the tree, they turn red; that's when they are picked, so all the fruit at the market is ripe already! these are a little old--you can tell because the spikes are black. however, they are usually super juicy when the spikes are black, so i don't mind.

anon, me too! aloha to you and hope you didn't mind all that rolling and rocking you had to do :)

cathy, hmmmm, you are giving me an idea....

misispi, yes! it's nicer to have fresh fruit when you can, though. thanks for dropping by!

acornbud, i used to like lychee the best, too, but now i like longan and rambutan equally :)

what a coincidence! I just blogged about rambutan too. Someone didn't know what they were :)

I haven't visited in a while. How are you doing? Are you in the Philippines right now? I'll have to catch up on my reading....

take care. p.s. beautiful photos as usual!

femmefollette said...
10/22/2006 01:51:00 PM

Fillette got these sampled to her by our korean greengrocer every visit we made a while back. She would wave them around, full of 5yo grossout glee and say, "I'm eating eyeballs! look! yum-yum!"

Oh boy, do I love rambutan, lychee and longan (never tasted guarana). I'm actually quite obssessed with lychee tastes these days..halo halo Phillipine fruit salad, Lichido Lychee Liqueur, Lychee Ice Cream from Chinatown, and of course those little lychee jellies. I'm addicted to all of them. Help!

We went on a trip through Quezon Province a month or so ago. Right smack in the middle of rambutan season, driving down the road tempted by baskets and baskets of red fruit. They also have varieties that are yellow instead of red.

We stopped at Kusina Salud, which had lovely rambutan for sale. But the best was fresh off the tree at an artist's house a few yards down the road. He showed us his art work then we had cups of freshly brewed coffee and picked off the rambutan from the branches he had brought in from the trees. Never enjoyed so much of the fruit before in my life.

my grandparents had many rambutan trees around their house when I was younger,I loved eating them off the trees- the best rambutans are those like they had- that don't have the skin of the seed sticking to the flesh!