By: The Foodie’s Avenue
Nestled amidst the lush greenery of Southeast Asia, there exists a fruit that is as intriguing as it is delectable – the rambutan. With its hairy exterior and sweet, juicy flesh, the rambutan has long been a symbol of tropical indulgence. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of rambutans, exploring not only what they are but also uncovering the delightful experience of tasting one. Join us on a journey through the exotic allure of rambutans, as we uncover the secrets of this captivating tropical fruit.
Also known as: Nephelium lappaceum, Hairy Lychee, Chôm chôm, Rambotan
What is rambutan?
Rambutan is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia, although it is also grown in other tropical regions around the world. It belongs to the Sapindaceae family, which includes other fruits like lychee and longan. Rambutan is known for its distinctive appearance, featuring a hairy or spiky outer skin that is typically red or yellow when ripe, although there are different varieties with varying skin colours.
How to properly eat rambutan?
To enjoy a rambutan, begin by selecting fully ripe fruits with vibrant skin. After rinsing them under cold water to remove any dirt, gently peel away the spiky skin using your fingernail or a knife. Discard the large seed inside, as it’s not edible. Now, you can relish the sweet, juicy flesh either directly or in various dishes like fruit salads.
Texture and flavour profile of rambutan
The rambutan boasts a unique combination of texture and flavour that makes it a delightful tropical fruit.
Texture: The outer skin of the rambutan is covered in soft, flexible, and hair-like spines, which give it its distinctive appearance. However, beneath this hairy exterior lies the real treasure. Once you peel away the skin, you’ll discover the fruit’s flesh, which is translucent and somewhat gelatinous in texture. It’s similar in texture to fruits like lychee or longan. The flesh is juicy, with a pleasingly firm yet tender bite.
Flavour: Rambutan’s flavour is a harmonious blend of sweet and slightly acidic notes. The taste is often described as sweet, with hints of floral and tropical undertones. The sweetness is not overpowering, making it a refreshing and enjoyable fruit to eat. Some say its taste is similar to a cross between a lychee and a grape. The combination of its unique texture and balanced flavour makes rambutan a sought-after tropical delicacy, beloved by many around the world.
How long does fresh rambutan last? Storage tips!
Rambutans can last for several days to a week when stored at room temperature, provided they are ripe when you purchase them. However, their shelf life can vary depending on factors like temperature, humidity, and their initial ripeness. If you want to extend their freshness, consider storing them in a cool, well-ventilated area and inspect them regularly for signs of ripening or spoilage. It’s best to consume rambutans promptly for the most enjoyable taste and texture.