Sweet and a little tangy; a rambutan has a texture similar to a grape or a lychee with a large seed in the middle.
The rambutan is a tropical fruit that originates in Southeast Asia. It is an interesting looking fruit with its long spiny, ‘hairy’ outer coating. For someone who is kinesthetically or tactically dominant, the rambutan is super entertaining! They are visually interesting and fun to touch. They feel tickly to my fingertips, which makes cutting and peeling them an interesting experience. The inside fruit is smooth and shiny, with a firm but squishy mouthfeel.
From a culinary perspective, rambutans are pretty straight forward. They can be eating raw, in salads, made into jams, jellies, candies, even ice cream. They are fun to freeze (if you like frozen food) as the fruit and then pop into drinks as flavorful “ice”. They have such a mild and pleasant flavor that it seems better to serve them whole so there is an entire eating experience.
From a health perspective, the rambutan contains a moderate amount of vitamin C. Interestingly; research demonstrates that the ones cultivated in Hawaii have a higher mineral and vitamin C content. I’m guessing this is due to environmental conditions. That being said, the rambutan is pretty basically a mild mannered fruit, best eaten just for the enjoyment, which is as important as nutrient density. There is research being conducted on the inedible parts of the fruit, for example, studies suggest that an extract made from the skin of the fruit could be beneficial for weight management and the roots can be effective against yeast and candidiasis.
For now, I just say...enjoy the fruit for the fruit!