I spy with my chestnut brown (hey, those of us in the non-recessive gene pool can have unique irises too!) eyes, what appears to be a hairy, porcupine-spiked, magenta-colored, ball shaped fruit that seems to have been harvested from a coral reef down under. I walk over to its assigned area near the peppers, glance down at the price and notice that they seem to be worth their weight in Mikimoto pearls. Choosing to look beyond the price (I mean, would I not improve my health at any cost?), I reach into the basket with an Anthony Bourdain “Parts Unknown” approach and grab a handful. The payoff is immediate as I feel the surprisingly soft surface, pleasant to the touch, similar to corn-silk and find that those spikes are way less intimidating to the touch than they would appear. There are two things I do the moment I arrive home: First, I Google the proper way to pronounce the name of my new purchase. To see and hear me attempting to sound out “Rambutan” would have been a comedy show on its own. Second, I grab my paring knife and ever so cautiously start to open up my Rambutan. As I start cutting through the hairy outer layer, out pops a giant, opaque white oblong center that resembles a non-cultured pearl, which I guess lessens the sting of the price per pound! I must admit that the paring process was surprisingly less involved than what I would have expected from such a complicated and intimidating looking fruit. It is further proof that good things really do come in small packages and many are worth their weight in gold, um, pearls. Rambutans have a texture that resembles a firm peeled green grape with the only downside being the narrow pit you may find while eating it. My newly discovered super fruit is a cross between a sweet green grape and a sweet, sour, red plum. The taste was surprisingly balanced and left my taste buds wanting to try another. Again, I am left with proving my point to my children to never judge a fruit by its cover because usually the beauty is within.
NJAPP Tip: There are many positive health benefits to these little pearl-like super fruits. 1. They help decrease unwanted fat. 2. Rambutans have a high protein content, and in return this super fruit will keep you fuller longer. 3. In case you were wondering, Rambutan is pronounced [ram-boot-n].