the pulasan and the rambutan?
first, it was the rambai and the langsat. now, it's time to look at two other cousins in the fruit family - the pulasan and the rambutan. the name pulasan comes from the malay word 'pulas' meaning to twist. i suppose that is how it got its name. unlike, the rambutan where you need to make a break or cut to get at the flesh, for the pulasan, you twist it to get to the flesh of the fruit - one hand holding the top part and the other hand, the bottom, and you twist it in opposite directions.
the name rambutan also comes from a malay word 'rambut', meaning hair.
the other day, i was at sheng siong supermarket and they had both types of fruit on sale. the rambutans were going at $3.00 for 2 kilos and the pulasans were sold at $5.00 for two kilos. what is the implication? that rambutans are more plentiful whereas pulasans are harder to come by? that pulasans are better and preferred to rambutans?
the flesh of the two looks alike and the taste is not much different. some say the pulasan is generally sweeter. it is not true that the flesh of the pulasan does not stick to the seed. the one i had had bits sticking onto the seed (see below). the 'tood hood' rambutan does not stick to the seed. the difference is that you can eat the seed of the pulasan is edible. according to my friend, it tastes a bit like coconut.
chun see should have followed up the durian quiz with one on rambutan. the red and yellow rambutans are all over the place. to get the picture of the fruit for this blog, i punggol (hurled a stick) at a rambutan tree at the end of kampong chantek road.
the branches of the rambutan trees tend to give way quite easily. i remember, as a boy, i climbed a rambutan tree along chancery lane and found myself dangling a few metres from the ground because the lower branch, on which i had stood, had given way. i cannot remember how i eventually got back to solid ground but i believe i was not badly hurt in this incident.
i have yet to see a full-grown pulasan tree in singapore, much less climb one.