Rambutan or Hairy cherry (quả chôm chôm)

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The Rambutan, also known unofficially as Hairy Cherry, comes originally from the Malaysia peninsular, where the name Rambutan came from the Malay word ‘rambut’ for hair. Today, a lot of rambutan is grown in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta area. The fruit is about 3-4 cm in diameter and has soft fleshy hair over the entire surface. The peel turns from green to yellow to red as the fruit ripens. To eat: Partially cut through the skin or break open with a thumbnail and pull apart. There is a hard seed inside. Once peeled the fruit yields a flesh that is white and firm; the taste is sweet with a touch of acidity and is very refreshing.

Rambutan grows in large bunches on trees that can be as high as 20 m. A rambutan tree has broad foliage and many branches. In the southern provinces, the tree yields fruit at the beginning of the rainy season. Rambutan season lasts until the end of the rainy season, that means from May to October.

The most famous rambutan fruit is grown in Binh Hoa Phuoc Village (Long Ho District, Vinh Long Province). During the rambutan season one can notice the typical bright red color of rambutan fruit stands located in the markets, along road and at intersections throughout the southern provinces if Viet Nam.