Rambutan or Pulasan?
|Rambutan at a Chiang Mai market, Thailand.|
|Pulasan near Batu Pahat, Malaysia|
In general, the pulasan is a larger fruit, a deeper red in colour with soft, blunt spines. The pulasan can be opened by twisting the fruit with both hands, whereas the 'hairy' rambutan is normally opened with a sharp knife or picked at with a thumb nail: this can be an arduous task for the thumb nail!
And the taste? The pulasan is usually juicier and sweeter but can be a little more difficult to separate from its seed. On the other hand, rambutan normally part easily from the seed, are mildly sweet but give a little more 'crunch' than their less well-known counterpart.
The author's opinion? Rambutan, but pulasan is a satisfactory replacement. Now to complicate the issue, I believe that the yellow rambutan is the best of all these fruits. What is your opinion?
|Red and yellow rambutan hanging at a fruit stall on the outskirts of Ipoh, Malaysia|
If you are travelling in Malaysia in rambutan season - luckily there are two seasons, mid-year and again over December and January - you should try all three delicacies...
|A magnificent rambutan tree with ripening fruit|