Ever wonder about that odd and fuzzy looking fruit you see everywhere in Bali? It’s called rambutan!
You may think that the name fails to do justice to such an exotic looking fruit, but “rambutan” is derived from the Malay-Indonesian word for hair, “rambut,” in reference to the fuzzy-looking whiskers that protrude from the yummy red fruit. The Vietnamese aren’t satisfied with just calling the fruit hairy, so instead they take it a step further, calling the fruit “chom chom,” which means messy hair.
Even though its quirky appearance and fuzzy-feeling surface attract attention on their own, as the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Peel open the skin of a rambutan and you’ll find a soft, yummy, gelatinous flesh that is equal parts excellent for your taste buds and for your health.
The health benefits of rambutan are many. The small but mighty fruit contains extremely high levels of vitamin B3, which plays an important role in converting carbohydrates into energy. B3 also lowers cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, and improves the shine and strength of your skin, hair, and nails. Rambutan is also quite high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that keeps your immune system firing on all cylinders.
As the second largest producer of rambutan at roughly 320,000 tons per year, Indonesia has rambutan just about everywhere. You can find it sold at your local street markets, in traditional supermarkets, and maybe even growing in your backyard. Of course, you can also order it from Bali Direct and have it delivered to your doorstep at the click of a button.
Rambutan makes for a delicious and nutritious afternoon snack, or a healthy dessert. Give it a try and let us know what you think!