It’s the season of vibrant reds, bright yellows. That’s when you know it’s the season you were looking forward to the entire year. The ultimate festival: rambutan season. Next to Rambutans are a pile of dark purpled Mangostine, the majestic queen of exoticness. Due to the relatively higher prices of mangostine, everyone heads to the rambutan next table. Though no one forgets to taste one or two mangostine.
Rambutan, the hairy urchin, is rich in taste. A taste so extraordinary and exquisite that one who takes a bite of it will return again and again. That is, my friend only till mid-August. From June to mid-August is the season of rambutan in Sri Lanka. A season which is loved more than any other in the little island.
In June, the Lankan streets start lining up with makeshift stalls selling rambutan. Both Malwana and Malaysian. The Malwana Rambutan is red leather-like skinned and beats its so called friend the Malaysian Yellow in popularity. The vibrant red makes Malwana Rambutan more appalling to the eye. Though Malaysian Rambutan, coloured in greenish yellow tends to be sweeter and has a more palate-friendly delightful taste.
Rambutan, although not indigenous to us, grows like it is one of the native fruits on Lankan soil. The western world calls it an exotic fruit. In fact the most exotic fruit in our planet. But for South and South East Asians, it is just as biting onto an apple which tastes hundred and one times better.
Rambutan is not only rich in taste. It is rich in health benefits, too. This tropical queen is rich in iron, a substance present in the hemoglobin and is essential for us to function. Rambutans are low in calories. Rich in fiber. They also have a high percentage of water. All these qualities of rambutan help you lessen body fat. Crush the seeds and mix it with other food for a more palatable taste if you cannot have it raw. The seeds are good for fat burn.
The high percentage of water in ramubtan helps your skin to stay hydrated, making it smoother and softer. It also contains copper and magnesium, two essential substances for the mankind. The presence of calcium, prosperous and iron in rambutan strengthens the bones. Rambutan leaves are good to cure the common illnesses such as headache. Make a paste of it and apply on your forehead if you are suffering from headache. It is also applied on hair for better hair quality. Rambutan also helps to reduce cancer and diabetes.
Amid the piles and piles of red, yellow and dark purple, lies another stack of greenish yellow which everyone notices by its smell than the colour of its outer skin. Durian. A fruit some of us never dare to taste due to its unpleasant smell. Though for some, it is some sort of a delicate fragrance and durian is their daily indulgence.
Yet no fruit in the island has been able to beat rambutan, the heavenly urchin which for some is the fruit from the god. It is mouthwatering. A tropical treat. A treasure. A gift which reminds us why we are blessed to be born in this paradise island. And filling a shopping bag after one another with hues of red and yellow, as a child at heart, creates quite a memory. A memory worth cherishable. A memory so blissful.