Cute, the Vietnamese name, right? It gets even cuter when you know what it means: messy hair! However, there is also a smaller kind with shorter hair which is called “chôm chôm nhãn” in Vietnamese and tastes a little sweeter.
The golf-ball-sized rambutan is a relative of the lychee, just to give you an idea of the texture that however, is slightly more jelly-like than that of its brother. There’s also more flesh. You might come across some sour specimens, but rambutan is generally sweet and extremely pleasant to eat. What’s more, it is also a convenient fruit!
You can use your finger to open and peel off the skin, but the most elegant way to do it is to cut the skin in half and pull off one hemisphere while holding on to the other. You can now slip them into your mouth as a whole without getting your fingers sticky. There is a seed though—don’t choke, please!
As they grow on branches, they’re often sold on those which add to their volume. You’ll find them fresh from June to September on any street market. Alternatively, stop one of the many vendors cruising around the cities on their bicycles. These vendors, however, tend to mark up some compared to the market prices as you’re likely never to see them again. Time to bargain!
Rambutan is great to lose weight, good for your skin and hair and have a lot of vitamin C. They also strengthen your immune system, prevent cancer and drum roll are said to improve sperm quality! Whatever that is supposed to mean…
The rambutan is a summer fruit that gets ripe during the rainy season. Harvest is from May to September.
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