Leaf of the Day: The Hairy Rambutan

The other fruit from yesterday’s Vi Mi’s outing is the rambutan, Nephelium lappaceum, meaning, loosely translated from the Malay, “hairy”. They are comical things and although spiky, the spikes are soft and pliable. They do look more like little sea creatures than fruit.
They are similar to the Longan and the Lychee in that there is a central opalescent fruit. The taste is again, sweet and quite bland. You are supposed to nibble the white flesh from the central seed which looks like an almond. These can be roasted but are supposed to be poisonous raw.

Here is a small excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon
“During the rambutan season, fruits are displayed in great heaps in roadside stalls called boutiques. This is the local term for small shops that sell vegetables, fruit and some of the necessities of life. At this time of year; itinerant vendors who carry their ‘shop’ on the pingo or flexible pole which is slung over one shoulder with a basket on either end, start carrying a different kind of basket. Not open baskets which display their wares, but large, egg-shaped baskets a bit wider at the bottom than at the top, woven from tender green coconut leaves. Every child knows without having to look inside that these baskets hold rambutans; and every child will run to ask the adult in the home to buy some of the fruit which is so popular.”

I spent far too long today just looking at wonderful photographs of Indonesian markets and food stalls and recipes. It just made me want to go and buy a plane ticket. (Irritatingly I have been humming “Ra Ra Rambutan” (aka Rasputin of course) all day. Boney M had a lot to answer for and those must be the worst lyrics in the world)

I occasionally like a drawing I have done and I quite liked these. The colour sketch has some design potential but is definitely not a botanical study!