Rosi StoyanovaRosi Stoyanova
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Rambutan is a decorative exotic fruit that is exceptionally popular in the southeast parts of Asia. Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is the fruit of the eponymous tree which is native to the Malay Archipelago and Southeast Asia. The rind of the fruit is covered in hairs, about 2″ (5 cm) long. It has a purple, orange or yellow color, and the hairs are yellow-green.

Rambutan owes its name to those same hairs (from the Malay rambut - hair). Because of its appearance the exotic fruit is called "hairy lychee". Rambutan is very small - about the size of a plum.

Rambutan has a hard red-orange skin, under which lies the white and juicy core. The inside has a very mild aroma slightly reminiscent of green tea and a sweet - tart/sour taste. Its taste can be described as something between a melon and jelly beans. Rambutan fruits from Thailand are most delicious during the months of May-September, while those from Latin America are juiciest during the winter.

Composition of Rambutan

Rambutan Fruits

Rambutan is a very good source of important vitamins and minerals, among which are vitamin C, iron, phosphorus and calcium. It contains fats, proteins, fibers and carbohydrates.

3.5 oz (100 g) of rambutan contain just 64 calories, 0.1 g fat, 1 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 16.5 g carbohydrates, 53 mg vitamin C, 20 mg calcium, 1.9 mg iron.

Choosing and Storing Rambutan

You can spot a well ripened rambutan by its red to dark red skin and well-defined hairs. The fruit is sweetest once the hairs begin to dry out. Rambutan does not continue to ripen after being picked, so be careful and only choose well ripened fruits.

It can sit in the fridge for about a week and significantly less at room temperature - about 2 or 3 days. If you've never tried this exotic wonder, it's about time you did because it's not only very delicious but very healthy too.

Culinary Use of Rambutan

Remove the rind of the rambutan with your fingers and divide the peeled fruit in 2 halves. Consume only the transparent core of the fruit. Serve it only well cooled so that you can best enjoy its taste. The taste qualities of hairy lychee are enhanced even further if sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon or vanilla sugar.

Cut Rambutan

Use rambutan in various exotic salads, and even jams and compotes. It is an excellent addition to various soft cheeses or meat. In many Asian countries, its seed is used to make soap and cooking fat, due to the significantly high content of fats.

Benefits of Rambutan

Since rambutan is a good source of crucial vitamins and minerals, this makes it valuable for health. If you're on a diet and trying to lose weight, rambutan is the perfect fruit for you.

Not only can you lose weight healthily with it, you'll also provide your body precious substances. It helps if suffering from diabetes, it's good for digestive system function, for lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

It lowers levels of bad cholesterol. According to the newest studies, regular consumption of rambutan helps regulate blood pressure levels. Due to the high amount of beneficial substances, rambutan maintains healthy and beautiful hair and skin.


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