Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Did you know: Cempedak fruit

By Anna Vivienne

Cempedak is a fruit tree. This tree is native of Malaysia and Indonesia as well as Brunei. The tree grows very fast and can start bearing fruit in four years. It is a tree that grows quite tall. Some old trees have four arm span trunks.

The leaves are shiny with tiny hairs underneath. The buds usually come grow out of small branches from all over the tree including the trunks. When the buds mature they become cempedak fruits. The immature ones just wither, die and drop off. In fact, one tree may bear hundreds of buds but only half of them will mature to be fruits.

When unripe, the cempedak fruit is dark green. As it matures, it will turn pale green and take an orange or yellow hue; then it will ripen. When the fruit ripen, you can tell it from the smell. The cloying sweet aroma can be smelled from afar. Walk around a cempedak orchard and you will definitely know that some fruits are ripe.

Getting to the flesh is quite easy, just slash the fruit skin and rip it open. You will find the yellow, orange or pale beige flesh snug in their respective ‘compartment’. You have to pluck them out with your fingers or forks. You can either eat them as it is or have it fried like banana fritters.

The flesh is sweet, mild, and juicy pulp surrounds the peanut-like seeds in a thick layer between the husk and an inedible core. The seeds can be eaten when boiled. Some people say that the taste of the fruit is similar to Jackfruit and Breadfruit with a hint of Durian. I think it is just cempedak.

In some Kadazandusun dialect it is called Pulutan and in Bazaar Malay it is called Cempulut, due perhaps to the latex (pulut meaning latex) that oozes from the fruit when it is cut open.

Courtesy of: New Sabah Times 'In' Sites - Sabah Travel and Leisure Guide

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