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Rambutan

May 05, 2017

Rambutan

This hairy fruit has a startling appearance, and yet a sweet, tart orb inside.

Availability & Origin
Rambutans are available between October and May. The most prominent growers are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hawaii.

Appearance & Flavor
The shells range from crimson red to orange and are covered in hair-like spines. After peeling back the skin, you'll find a white-gray orb that conceals an inedible pit. Once de-pitted, you can taste the globe's tart, juicy flavor. Chose rambutans that do not have cracks, show moisture or appear moldy. The spines should be flexible and look fresh.

Storage
Store rambutans at room temperature and they'll last one to two days. In the fridge, they'll keep for up to seven days in a perforated plastic bag. You can freeze either whole or pitted, and for up to two months. Keep in mind that when frozen, their orbs can become mushy, but they will keep their flavor and are still good to eat.

Ways to Enjoy
These orbs taste great raw, in fruit salads, pureed, in jams and jellies, and in sorbet. Turn some heads at your next function by preparing this rambutan pie.

History
Originating in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, rambutans were trialed in the early 1930's in Malaysia, and in the mid-1950's, they were registered officially. The U.S. attempted to grow them in the southeast in the early 1900's, but the test failed. They came to find out that rambutans grow wild in Hawaii, ever since, we've been getting our rambutans from there.

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