Tuesday, February 26, 2013

EXOTIC FRUITS OF MALAYSIA


Malaysia is a fruit enthusiasts' paradise. The tropical climate generates abundant plant life and creates a wide and amazing variety of edible and succulent fruits. It is blessed with a lively tropical climate where permanent heat and plentiful rainfall allow for a wide variety of delicious fruit to flourish. Some of the fruits such as durian, mangosteen, cempedak, pomelo, rambutan, duku-langsat and snakefruit are indigenous, while the papaya, guava, ciku, soursop, mango, wax or honey apple, jackfruit, starfruit, and watermelon have been introduced over the years.
Some Malaysian fruits are seasonal while others are easily available throughout the year. Some of the exotic fruits of Malaysia that need a special mention are:

·         Durian (The King of Fruit) - The durian is the most popular local fruit and is considered as the "King of Fruit". The edible flesh emits a distinctive odor that is strong and incisive even when the husk is intact. It's about the size of a football with a thick and fibrous husk covered by sharp spines and is often eaten with mangosteen.

·         Mangosteen - Normally referred to as the "Queen of Fruit", it is frequently eaten after a hearty meal of durians. The fruit of the mangosteen is sweet and tangy, juicy, and somewhat fibrous, with an inedible, deep reddish-purple colored rind when ripe. It has a sweet pleasant taste and rich in vitamin C and essential minerals.

·         Cempedak - A delicate local Malaysian fruit and a cousin of the Jackfruit, the cempedak is a favorite fruit of most Malaysians. The fleshy, edible arils surround the large, inedible seeds in a thick layer. It is yellowish-white to orange in color, sweet and fragrant, soft, slippery and slimy on the tongue and a bit fibrous. It may be eaten fresh, deep-fried in oil or processed into a refreshing juice.

·         Rambutan- A very well-loved local fruit and a cousin to the Chinese lychee, the rambutan is named because of its hairy skin. It is rich in vitamin C and essential minerals. The fruits are usually sold fresh, used in making jams and jellies, or canned. Evergreen rambutan trees with their abundant colored fruit make beautiful landscape specimens. The translucent flesh is soft, sugary and juicy.

·         Duku Langsat- The duku langsat is local to this country usually eaten as a fresh fruit. The flesh is translucent, with a soft and sweet flavor. Fruits look much like small potatoes and bear fruits in clusters similar to grapes. The larger fruits are on the variety known as duku. It is covered by thin, yellow hair giving a slightly fuzzy aspect.

·         Soursop- The soursop belongs to the same family as the more famous custard apple and sugar apple. It has a thin light greenish skin. The flavor is  a mixture of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavor notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavor suggestive of coconut or banana.

·         Snakefruit- Known locally as salak, this exotic tropical fruit is little known outside Southeast Asia. The fruit grows in bunch at the base of the palm, and are also known as snake fruit due to the reddish-brown scaly skin. They are about the size and shape of a ripe fig, with a different tip. The pulp is safe to eat.

So next time you visit Malaysia make sure to relish these exotic fruits, and treat your taste buds to a variety of flavors.


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