Sunday, August 26, 2007


Last Sunday was supposed to be a durian-picking day in Raub for us. I had been invited by a colleague to his kampung, where his family has a 4-acres dusun buah with numerous durian trees, and everyone there were quite bored of eating durians... *sigh* and here I was buying kampung durians at RM5 p/kg, while eyeing the D24 durians being sold at RM9 p/kg in Kelana Jaya.

Alas, due to a series of miscommunications, or rather 'bad-timing-sms', the plan went bust. But my colleague has promised to bring everyone at the office lots of smelly tempoyak next week *phew!*

I just love all kinds of local fruits, don't you?

The better-known ones would be durian the king of local fruits, rambutan the hairy one, manggis the mangoesteen, mangga the mangoes, pisang the banana, nenas the pineapple, nangka the jackfruit (how the toot did it get it's name?), betik the papaya, and tembikai @ semangka the watermelon. But there's lots more!

There's rambutan's cousin, the pulasan.

Pulasan has coarser hair in vibrant shades of maroon, and white succulent flesh and a seed. But it's flavour and fragrance is so unique and 'richer' than the rambutan's. Aptly named, it is opened by holding the fruit in one hand, then use the other hand to twist (pulas) the top part, like unsrewing a bottle cap.

There's the duku & family. The duku is round in shape, about the size of a pingpong ball, and it's flesh inside is segmented. The langsat is smaller than duku and not as sweet, so they married them off and produced dukulangsat, which has thicker skin, more durable than langsat and sweeter like duku. Then there's the dokong, which is the sweetest of them all. They all look the same though, to untrained eyes.

duku & rambai

I also like the duku's distant cousin, the rambai. This is a funny fruit to eat, because it hardly has any bite-able flesh, so we end up peeling off its skin, then swallowing the fruit whole, seeds and all. For the uninitiated, be careful eating it this way, as the effects of the seeds will be felt when you pass motion a few hours later hehehe :-)

Other quite similar-looking fruits are the tampoi and sentul.

tampoi & sentul

Aiyoh how to explain the difference? They have much thicker skin compared to duku, almost like a shell for sentul. The flesh is also fragmented and is quite fragrant, like a cross between manggis and rambai. They are wild jungle fruits and are very rare, the last time I ate tampoi must've been about 5 years ago. Kat mana ada jual, anybody can tell me?

Everyone knows mangga, so many varieties in shapes, colours, tastes and fragrance. Other mango-like fruits I know are the binjai, nam nam, bacang, kuinin, kedondong & kundang @ setar.

binjai, nam nam & kedondong

They are all sour mah! In fact, they are so sour that some are often added to sambal belacan to give the dish a sour ummph.

Oh yeah, one more really sour wild fruit - cermai. It's usually made into a pickle or cooked in a dish called 'acar'.

For the nangka, there's 2 similar cousins I can think of, the cempedak and the terap. The cempedak is very common here, and can be eaten raw or fried in batter. The terap, I was told, is a wild fruit and not eaten here, but I ate some on one trip to Sabah, and it's quite nice actually. Perhaps the Sabah terap is bigger and nicer than the ones here :-)

cempedak & terap

I absolutely adore the nona, round shape the size of a tennis ball, with bumpy red or purple skin. The flesh is white and has many seeds, kinda look like a durian belanda the soursop but very sweet.

Then there's the snakeskin fruit, the salak. Sweet only if it's fully ripe, otherwise it tastes so icky, you'd want to rinse out your mouth if you bite into an unripe one. But I think the unripe ones taste very good if pickled la.

salak & ciku
There's one fruit that I like to eat when it's not quite ripe, that's the egg-shaped-and-sized ciku, because a really ripe ciku is too sweet for my taste. It has a thin skin covered with very fine hair, much like the kiwifruit.
Lastly, the jambu family. We are all familiar with the guava, but the kampung jambu batu is not the same. It's small and hard as a stone, with plenty of seeds in it's core. There's also the jambu bol, jambu mawar and jambu air. These three have lots of liquid in it, but I hesitate to call it 'juice' as I've never heard it being juiced and drank before.

jambu batu, jambu bol & jambu mawar

I bet there's plenty more local fruits which I've never come across before, as I didn't grow up in a kampung, and some of the wierd (yes, it's intentional hehe) fruits were brought over by relatives when they come visit from the kampung.
By the way, did you recognize all the fruits mentioned or in the pictures?

(pictures courtesy of the internet)


Kelana said...

I remember when driving to Kuantan from KL (before the East Coast hiway was ready), the orang asli would sell lots of buah tampoi by the roadside. But nowadays, I use the hiway, so I'm not sure whether they still do that on the old trunk road.

Very informative entry by the way. :-)

JIE said...

Aiyoh have to find orang asli la pulak :-) But then, who else best to cari wild jungle fruits kan.

Dade Ghost said...

Jie aku baru baik demam... dok makan buah2 tempatan.....

JIE said...

DG, hang makan derian tak ajak aku, tu yang demam tu hehehe... Tapi ini bukan makan, ini dah masuk kategori mentekedarah... :-)