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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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rambai the Malay name, also used in English, for the fruits of several trees of the genus Baccaurea, most of which are native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Two, which have sweeter and better fruits than others, are cultivated there, and a third in India, Burma, and Thailand.

B. motleyana, the most important of these, produces abundant clusters of fruit hanging in long strings. Each fruit is oval, about 4 cm (1") long, with a thin, velvety, pale brown skin. When ripe this skin becomes soft and wrinkled, which is one way of distinguishing rambai from the duku and langsat fruits which it closely resembles. A soft, translucent, whitish flesh surrounds a few flat, brown seeds. Cultivated varieties have a sweet, mild flavour and are refreshing when eaten raw. Wild trees produce fruits which are too acid to be eaten thus, but are suitable for cooking, making preserves, and alcoholic drinks. The sweet varieties are also used in these ways.