Your friendly source for all things vegan! Recipes, reviews, information, and inspiration! I eagerly welcome your questions and comments! Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Rambutan


Guess what?  

I tried a new variety of fruit the other day!  I saw it at the grocery store and thought,  
"What is THAT???  I should try it!"  
So I did!  It's called a rambutan, which basically means "hairy" in Malay, and this makes perfect sense upon glimpsing the rind of this unusual little fruit.  After reading a little bit about them on the internet, I learned that they are grown far, far away from my native Utah, typically on the Southeast Asian side of the world.  Here in the U.S., they may be an exotic sight.  But in many cultures, they are as ubiquitous a food as an apple is to us. 

They sure are beautiful, fresh, on the tree! 
(By the way, this garden photo doesn't belong to me, but the other two pics are mine.)


To reveal the edible inside, I began by using a sharp knife and cutting around the soft-spined outer shell.  Here is what I discovered: a milky-white, pearl-like, fruit-flesh.  I took a nibble...  It had a chewy consistency.  And the flavor... Mild, quite mild.  It reminded me slightly of the taste of raw coconut.  Probably the easiest way of putting it is this: eating rambutan is kind of like eating a large grape, but without the extreme sweetness and juiciness of a grape. 


And do you know what else?  There really wasn't much flesh to eat, what with the big ol' gray pit I found in the center!  I ate around it.  And it looks like that was a good thing to do because from what I read about the rambutan, the pit is bitter and potentially poisonous.   So...  don't eat the pit!  

Rambutan also appear to have some useful nutrition factoids.  I read that they are a quality source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. 

It was a strange experience, the rambutan.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. The taste was so indistinct and the texture so... somewhat gummy, I don't know quite what to make of it.  In all fairness I may have selected a past-its-prime piece, in which case that may explain the so-little-flavor and lack of moisture.   The web says to choose a rambutan that is bright red, its little spines devoid of any black color.  My rambutan was nearly all black before I even purchased it!  Just look at my photos!  Oh dear... 


As of this moment, I don't feel a pull to consume any more of these exotic fruit.  But I ought try rambutan again because maybe I still don't know what I'm truly missing--maybe I just didn't select a good juicy one. 

So when I decide to give rambutan a second chance, I'll be certain to write a follow-up. Stay tuned!  :)

16 comments:

Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing the review and nutritional info. :) I've never tasted rambutan, but they certainly look and sound intriguing--a little like lychee, which also have a mild, sweet flavor and chewy texture. I'll have to try this fruit sometime!

dirtyduck said...

how fun! except for the pit...that part is disappointing. thanks for the info, and the review.glad to see you back.

Vegan Valerie said...

Hi Tiffany!

The lychee is in the same family as the rambutan, from what I read. You are very perceptive! Do let me know if you give rambutan a try! I'd be interested to how your experience goes. :)

Vegan Valerie said...

Hi D.D.!

Yes, the pit was annoying... oh well. It was worth it--just for the experience of it all! :) It's fun to try new foods!

Thanks again for the comments, D.D.! I love to get them! :)

Gabriele Agustini said...

It's my first time visiting your blog and I really like it!
That fruit looks amazing!
I have never seen it anywhere. I'd love to try one.
I'm now one of your "Followers".
Thanks for sharing,
gabriele

blessedmama said...

Congrats on trying something new. Whenever we've tried something for the first time from another culture, I'm prepared for everything that might happen. It's very interesting to discover what some people just love that's just so-so to us. Probably the other way around too, right? Good job!

sooz said...

The lady in the oriental supermarket gave me a load of these, she doesn't speak much english but she seemed to very much see me eat and enjoy the strange fruit, to the point of unpeeling it for me and putting it my hand. I had to eat it with a very polite face, because I really didn't like it!

Elizabeth said...

they are soo delicious!!
thank you for your sweet comments on my blog!

HiHoRosie said...

They're so weird arent' they? Great for halloween parties. ;) I tried one once and I vaguelly recall liking it. I think. ha ha! I just don't have them often (obviously) but you remind me to try them again too. Hope you are well!

Vegan Valerie said...

Hi HiHo! No worries--I am well!

That is such a GREAT idea serving Rambutan at a Halloween party! That cracks me up!! I should do that next year!

Vegan Valerie said...

Thanks Gabriele! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog!

Vegan Valerie said...

Thanks, BlessedMama!

It is always an adventure trying out a new food, even if you don't like it much! I think it's a good thing to do once in a while--keeps life fun! :)

Vegan Valerie said...

Hi Elizabeth!

I'm impressed!--you liked the rambutan? Cool! I really should give it another try...

Vegan Valerie said...

Oh Sooz, I am so sorry! It's terrible when people insist on making others taste their foods. I will never torment anybody like that with my vegan goodies, no matter how good I think they are...

It reminds me of a scene from Adam Sandler's movie, The Wedding Singer. He gives music lessons to a little old lady and lets her pay him in meatballs even though he doesn't like them. But she insists on watching him take a bite of her cooking--its hilarious and awful at the same time!

I can just imagine you and that cute oriental lady having the same sort of interaction...

Bless your heart, Sooz! What a trooper!

the Waldbillig said...

I've been saying Rambutan out loud to myself for the past hour. What a fun word! I hope someday I'll meet one! A red one too!

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

Lovely photos!!!