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Sweet Succulent Thai Rambutans

The Ngoh Rong Rian variety of RambutanMy first trip to Thailand I was wide eyed and in awe of so many things I hadn’t seen before and the biggest head turner for me, after the Thai ladies of course, was the amazing assortment of fruit. Naturally Thailand is perfect with it’s tropical climate for growing fruit but I had never seen fruit like this before.

There was a fruit market near where I was staying and after I had walked past it a few times and gawked at the sometimes odd looking fruit I decided to check it out. The merchants were more than ready for me making sure I had sampled everything…while also making sure I bought enough!

The one fruit I kept coming back to was the rambutan. It looked slightly like a hairy strawberry and there were two kinds to sample. The Ngoh Rong Rian which has green hairs protruding from it’s skin (pictured above) and the Si Chompoo which has pink hairs. Once you peel off the alien looking hairy layer you get to the sweet flesh that surrounds the seed. The rambutan is very sweet and succulent as well as addicting. I picked up a kilo of the fruit that day and probably ate half of them while walking around the market.  You eat the flesh from around the hard inner seed, which may or may not be poisonous depending on who you ask but it’s very hard so it’s doubtful you’d want to eat it.

one kilo of rambutan’s cost around 50 baht or roughly $1.50 which was very cheap and well worth it. Rambutans are grown throughout South East Asia. In Thailand the main growing area’s for the rambutan are in the south. The best time to eat rambutans is between May and September when they are abundant and at  their peak. A ripe rambutan will have green or pink hairs depending on the variety…if it’s too ripe the hairs start to turn black.

A lot of rambutans are exported out of South East Asia every year so there is a good chance you might run into them at a local market where you live. Whether you see them in Thailand or a local market give them a try I’ll gaurantee you’ll love em.

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Comment by Coffee BeanNo Gravatar
2008-08-14 01:09:32

There’s some very exotic tropical fruit in Thailand, that’s for sure.

Comment by My Bug LifeNo Gravatar
2008-08-14 04:27:29

Rambutans are nice! But we Chinese believe that rambutans are “heaty” therefore you can’t eat too much esp during the hot and dry seasons…it causes stomach upset.

My Bug Lifes last blog post..Stranger At The Pool

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2008-08-14 07:13:44

I can definitely see where you could eat yourself sick with rambutans…

Comment by Milawe
2008-08-14 15:40:10

I’m so glad I ran across this blog. I was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand but now live in the USA. One of the things I miss most about Thailand is the fruit. I love the abundance of fruit, the variety of fruit, and just the fun of eating all the fruits. It’s also hard for me to figure out what the English name are for some of the fruits, so I can’t even attempt to order some of them.

Anyway, I love rambutans!

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2008-08-14 16:31:03

From what I understand we may be in luck soon. Supposedly the U.S. has reached an agreement with Thailand and more Thai fruits will be shipped to the U.S. I would love to see Mangosteens and Rambutans at the market.

It really is amazing though all the varieties of fruit in Thailand…getting hungry just thinking about it!

Comment by TomNo Gravatar
2008-08-14 18:09:22

The “facts” about food seem to be the same in Japan. I’ve heard many things about how the parts of vegetables are poisonous. As for what they say here, it’s just old-wives tales.

Toms last blog post..Going to the Museum

Comment by shaxxNo Gravatar
2008-08-15 03:53:25

we have lots of rambutans here as well and I love them but I would get sore throat if I eat a lot :D
shaxxs last blog post..Best Hope

Comment by BKNo Gravatar
2008-08-15 08:27:12

When I think of Rambutan I would remember my father. There was a rambutan tree where I used to live when I was very young. And the rambutan tree has a lot of red ants. I was told that my father and his brothers loved to climb the rambutan tree and plucked the fruits and he even fell down once from it. Those childhood memories :)

As for myself, I am not particularly a fan of rambutan. I prefer mangosteen compared to rambutan :)

Comment by MarkNo Gravatar
2008-08-15 09:53:54

I had never heard of this fruit before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Living in the UK we do not get the chance to eat many exotic fruits but I would love to taste this one. I would love to visit Thailand one day.

Marks last blog post..The Ultimate Beach Accessory

Comment by fragileheartNo Gravatar
2008-08-15 22:43:32

Is that what it’s called? They’re quite yummy and they feel funny in my fingers while the skin is still on ;P

fragilehearts last blog post..8 days from today

Comment by Beau71No Gravatar
2008-08-16 01:21:55

I have never even heard of Rambutans…they look delicious though. I can’t wait to try them some day.

Beau71s last blog post..WNY Technology Blog Contest

Comment by JacquelineNo Gravatar
2008-08-16 06:21:12

I would love to try this exotic fruit. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled when I visit our Farmer’s Market which has fruits and vegetables from all over the world. :-)
Jacquelines last blog post..A Special Birthday Wish…

Comment by MilenaNo Gravatar
2008-08-16 08:06:53

Oh I love these. We have them (imported) in my native country of Panama. Over there we call them Chinese lychee. Obviously incorrect. How wonderful to learn its true name. How good they taste I already knew all about…;-)

Milenas last blog post..A rose by any other name…

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2008-08-17 22:15:47

I think they are called Chinese lychee in a few places…whatever they are called they still taste great.

Comment by JennWasHereNo Gravatar
2008-08-17 16:41:14

Oh wow… Rambutan is also my favorite fruit from here in the Philippines. I actually prefer it over lychee! Come to think of it, I don’t eat lychee at all! =)

Here, Rambutan season is just about to start, and I am excited to buy and eat this oh-so-delicious fruit!

Comment by TalenNo Gravatar
2008-08-17 22:14:32

Send some to me :)

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