Exotic Fruits of Malaysia
Malaysia is renowned for its rich diversity of exotic fruits that are both delicious and unique. These tropical fruits thrive in the country’s warm and humid climate, making Malaysia a haven for fruit lovers. From vibrant colours to tantalizing flavours, the exotic fruits in Malaysia offer a delightful culinary experience. Let’s explore some of the most popular and fascinating exotic fruits of Malaysia
Durian is a tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. It is known for its strong, pungent odour that has been described as a mix of rotten onions, gym socks, and turpentine. Despite its smell, durian is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world and is highly prized for its creamy texture and unique flavour.
The outer shell of the durian is covered in thick, spiky skin that must be opened carefully to avoid injury. Inside the fruit are several large pods, each containing soft flesh that ranges in colour from pale yellow to deep orange. The flesh has a custard-like consistency and a sweet, nutty flavour with hints of vanilla and caramel.
Durian also has significant nutritional value, containing high levels of fibre, vitamins B and C, potassium, and antioxidants. However, due to its high-calorie content and sugar content, it should be consumed in moderation.
In some cultures, eating durian is believed to have medicinal properties for treating various ailments like fever or indigestion. However, despite its popularity among many people, there are also some who cannot stand the smell which can be so overpowering that it has been banned from certain public places such as hotels or public transport systems in some countries.
Rambutan is a tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. It has a spiky exterior, similar to the lychee fruit, and a sweet and juicy flesh inside. The name “rambutan” actually means “hairy” in Malay, which is fitting since the fruit’s exterior is covered in hair-like spikes.
The flesh of the rambutan is translucent and has a grape-like texture. Rambutans are primarily eaten fresh as a snack or added to fruit salads and desserts. They can also be used in jams, jellies, syrups, and various beverages.
The fruit is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium. It also contains antioxidants which help to protect against cell damage and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
Rambutan trees are usually grown in tropical climates with high humidity and rainfall. They can grow up to 30 meters tall and produce fruit twice a year.
Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. It has a dark purple, tough outer shell that needs to be removed before consumption. Inside the shell, there are several creamy white segments of fruit containing a juicy and mildly sweet pulp. The pulp is often used in various dishes and beverages due to its unique flavour and health benefits.
Mangosteen is known for being high in xanthones, which are antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, mangosteen has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat various ailments such as diarrhea and skin infections.
In recent years, mangosteen has gained popularity in the health food industry due to its potential benefits. It can be found in various forms such as juice, supplements, and dried fruit. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of mangosteen on human health.
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is native to South Asia. It is the largest tree fruit in the world and can weigh up to 36 Kilos! (80 pounds). Jackfruit has a spiky exterior and a sweet, fruity flesh on the inside.
The flavour of jackfruit has been described as a combination of banana, pineapple, and mango. It can be eaten both ripe, when it is sweet and soft, or unripe when it takes on a meat-like texture and can be used as a vegetarian substitute for pulled pork or chicken.
In addition to being delicious, jackfruit also has some health benefits. It is high in fibre, which can help with digestion and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Jackfruit also contains antioxidants and vitamin C.
Cempedak looks similar to jackfruit but has a smaller size and sweeter flavour. The flesh of the cempadak fruit is firm and fibrous, similar to jackfruit but with a slightly different texture. It has a sweet and aromatic flavour that is often described as a combination of durian and jackfruit, although milder in taste. The fruit contains multiple small seeds embedded within the flesh.
Cempadak fruits are commonly used in various culinary preparations in Southeast Asian cuisine. The flesh can be eaten raw or cooked. It is often used in curries, stir-fries, salads, and desserts.
In some regions, it is also preserved by pickling or candying. In addition to its culinary uses, cempadak fruit is believed to have medicinal properties in traditional medicine practices. It is claimed to have digestive benefits and is used for treating diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Langsat also known as langsat or lanzones, is a tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia. It belongs to the family Meliaceae and is closely related to other fruits like rambutan and longan. Langsat has a round shape, similar to a small potato, with a thin, yellowish-brown peel. The fruit is about the size of a golf ball and contains translucent flesh that is juicy and sweet.
The taste of langsat can be described as a combination of lychee and grapefruit, with a slightly sour undertone. Langsat is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. It is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like potassium and calcium. Additionally, it contains antioxidants that help protect the body against free radicals.
Langsat is commonly consumed fresh as a snack or dessert. It can also be used in various culinary preparations such as salads, jams, and beverages. The peel of the fruit can be dried and used for medicinal purposes or made into tea.
Starfruit gets its name from its unique shape when cut crosswise, which resembles a star. The flavour is sweet and tangy, with a texture similar to that of grapes.
Starfruit is often used in salads or as a garnish for drinks. One of the interesting aspects of starfruit is its nutritional profile. It is low in calories but high in fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It also contains small amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium and vitamin A. When it comes to using starfruit in cooking, it can be enjoyed in both sweet and savoury dishes. It can be added to salads, stir-fries, and salsas, or used as a garnish for desserts.
Additionally, starfruit juice can be made by blending the fruit with water or other fruits for a refreshing beverage. It’s worth noting that individuals with kidney problems should exercise caution when consuming starfruit due to its high oxalic acid content. This acid can be harmful to those with impaired kidney function.
The exotic fruits of Malaysia are a true delight for fruit enthusiasts. With its tropical climate and rich biodiversity, Malaysia is home to a wide variety of unique and delicious fruits that are not commonly found in other parts of the world.
From the spiky and aromatic durian to the sweet and tangy mangosteen, each fruit has its own distinct flavour and texture that leaves a lasting impression. The vibrant colours and enticing aromas of fruits like Rambutan, Jackfruit, and Cempedak make them irresistible to both locals and visitors alike.
These exotic fruits not only offer a tantalizing culinary experience but also boast numerous health benefits. They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote overall well-being. Additionally, many of these fruits have traditional medicinal uses in Malaysian culture.
Exploring the local markets or fruit farms in Malaysia is an adventure on its own as you discover new flavours and textures. Whether indulging in a refreshing slice of papaya or savouring the creamy flesh of a starfruit, every bite is a burst of tropical goodness.
Be sure to indulge in these delightful treats for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.
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