I picked up some Rambutan at the local Asian grocery store for a sweet treat. Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), the name of both the tree and the fruit, tastes similar to lychee, mamoncillos, or grapes and are probably one of the most fun looking fruits out there. Although native to Malaysia-Indonesia, it is now grown throughout South East Asia. The name Rambutan actually means hairy in Malaysian. The Vietnamese call it “messy hair” fruit – how about that?
Rambutan are ready to eat when red. If green, they are not ripe. Don’t take any unripe ones from the store, they will not ripen any further ! To eat, simply cut open the red encasing and remove the white fruit. It contains a seed – you can either cut it out with a knife or simply eat around it. The choice is yours.
If you see some in the store – definitely pick some up !
Here is a video of the taste test: