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Monday, 7 August 2017

Seasonal Fruits of Malaysia | Guide for Tourists

It happened several times that I landed on Malaysian soil, expecting some local fruits being sold at the stalls along the streets, which is a really common scene when the fruits are in season. To my greatest disappointment, the fruits were not harvested yet because they were unripe and some of them were even months too early. Therefore I keep in mind the next time I’m visiting the country, I’ll be there when the fruits are ready.

1. Durian

Although some, especially foreigners, despise the smell coming out from it, a durian is always sought after year after year because of its taste once you get past its persistent odor. The meat can be used in local cuisine and it is quite a delicacy once you try it cooked as the smell won’t be that strong anymore, yet the taste is still creamy and rich. Durians may be found at any time of the year as they can be imported from the neighboring countries, but for Malaysian durians, they will be available from June to August and onwards.

Image credit: Yun Huang Yong from Harbord, Australia

2. Rambutan

This furry, exotic fruit comes in red and yellow. They respond well to rainy seasons, which is from June to November, and the best rambutans may be harvested around August where at times, the fruits will be sold at the lowest prices and sometimes even be given away for free. Apart from tasting sweeter than the ones harvested earlier in the season, the flesh is also thicker and more satisfying to consume. You could also encounter rambutan preserves in jar which is one of my favorite spreads for breakfast.

Image credit: By Tu7uh - Own work, CC BY 3.0 | Source

3. Mangosteen

Often considered as nutrient-rich food, mangosteens show up following a rainy season after a dry spell, typically from August onwards. Covered with a thick, hard deep purple skin, its white flesh is pleasant with a mixture of tangy and sweet, and fibrous texture. Mangosteen is largely produced only in Southeast Asia where they will be exported commercially around the world, so grab the chance to taste it while you’re in its homeland.

Image credit: By مانفی - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 | Source

4. Guava

Commonly in white flesh, a guava may also come in pink, though they equally boast outstanding tastes. The fruits require a long period of drought, where the blooms are not interrupted or damaged due to rainfall which also affects the quality of fruits when harvested after the rain. To achieve the best batch of guavas, orchard owners will make sure the trees bear fruits when it’s dry, which is somewhere from June to July. This is ultimately the season for guavas, where you can enjoy eating them fresh or turning them into juice.

Image credit: By Rodrigo.Argenton - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 | Source

5. Jackfruit

Known as the largest fruit in the world, a jackfruit can weigh up to 50kg when it’s ready to harvest. The good news is that this fruit is available all year round, but the bad news is that you have to wait for it to become ripe, which is a tricky procedure as the fruit will be wrapped whole in a sack with its stem still attached to the tree. It can take from 3 to 8 months for the fruit to be edible as even a slightly unripe jackfruit will leave bad, sticky sap taste in your mouth. A young jackfruit flesh, however, is often used in cooking.

Image credit: By Mullookkaaran - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

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