A Country where Tropical Fruits Never Out of Season.
Countries located in equatorial areas have wet and dry seasons which take place years long. This condition is favorable to the growth of trees and eventually affects the continuous supply of various fruits . There are many kinds of tropical fruits which have been famous all over the world, this hub shares information about some of them. These fruits are considered as table fruits and are native to Indonesia (which can originate from other countries in the same region as well).
M a n g g o
Mango is one of the most popular fruits in Indonesia. Mango comes in season when climate reaches its hottest and driest period of the year which is around August, September and October. Mangoes can be found in different types, sizes, tastes and colors. The most popular one is Arum Manis, as the name implies this manggo smells nice (Arum) and tastes sweet (manis) (although a bit sour too when it's not very ripe), and it has dark green color and the color becomes light yellow when it's ripe.
Another popular type is Gedong Gincu, this mango is the most expensive one since there is smaller supply in the market and taste sweeter than Arum manis, not to mention its attractive bright red, like lipstick (Gincu), appearance when it's ripe. A kilo or Arum manis costs around 5000 to7000 rupiah while Gedong gincu costs 15,000 to 24,000 rupiah at supermarkets.
There are other types of mangoes like Indramayu, kwini, and golek which can also be enjoyed although they are mostly sold in traditional markets.
D u r i an (Durio sp).
We call this as A King of Fruits regarding its tempting taste and just from sniffing its aroma it can really make durian lovers mouthwatering. Even The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallacedescribed its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds" (Wikipedia). The popularity of Durian as the most demanded fruit in the market has made it more expensive than other fruits, and again it confirms the fruit's nick name as A King of Fruits.
In Indonesia durian is grown up to corners of the country and fruit stalls seen mushrooming offering the best durians in around December until May. Borneo is the island where edible durians of different species are cultivated and has made it the center of durian ecological diversity.
Types of Durians which have made good names because of their quality (based on taste, flesh thickness, size and color) are durian Petruk , Sitokong, and durian Monthong (this cultivar comes from Thailand).
The rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is another native fruit of Indonesia. As the name it takes this fruit is covered with "hair" (rambut) and has white, soft, juicy flesh and a brown core inside. Rambutan grows well in areas at 1600 up to 1800 above sea level and the harvest time takes place around months Desember to February when the dry season is about to end. People like this fruit because of its exotic look, sweet taste when it's ripe ( the hairy cover has turned bright red) and the vit C it contains. In addition to those reasons, rambutan's affordable price is another factor of its popularity, they only need to spend Rp. 10,000 (around US 1$) to get 3 bunches.
Kinds Of Rambutans.
There are three kinds of rambutans which are widely known and dominate the market in my country, they are :
1. Lebak bulus. Rambutan of Lebak Bulus type has yellowish to light red color when it's ripe. Among varieties of rambutan family, Lebak Bulus is the most prevalent in the market, the
taste is mostly sour sweet. Because of it abundant supply the price of Lebak Bulus is cheaper than the other types. Rambutans are normally sold in bunches and a bunch of rambutan Lebak Bulus costs around Rp. 3000.
2. Binjai. This type of rambutan has bright or dark red color with longer and sturdier hairy cover. There are two things that rambutan of Binjai type is mor favorable. First, it tastes very sweet and the white, translucent flesh is not so soggy and not rigidly stick to the seed so that rambutan lovers don't need to make much effort to eat it. This favorite rambutan costs around Rp 5000 per bunch.
3. Rapiah. Rapiah is obviously different from the two types mentioned above, either in its physical appearance, taste or the selling price. Rapiah looks "crew cut" due to its very short hair, even people prefer calling it "bald rambutan" refering to its almost hairless characteristic. Unlike the other two rambutan types which taste sour when they are not ripe, unripe Rapiah (the color is green to yellowish) tastes sweet although the ripe one (colors red) tastes much sweeter. The flesh of Rapiah is not so moist and easy to be peeled off from its seed, another reason that makes it the most wanted one among rambutan cultivars. A bunch of Rapiah may cost around Rp 8000 to 10,000.
D u k u (Lansium domesticum)
Duku, another native fruit of Indonesia, is always in seasons twice a year. This fruit has beige outer color with white translucent, juicy flesh which tastes sour to sweet. The flesh of Duku consists of 4 or 5 segments and there is always a biggest segment with green seed inside. Eating the juicy flesh is very enjoyable and gives fresh sensation but the seed is not edible because of its bitter taste. The best duku in Indonesia comes from Palembang, a city located in Sumatra island. Duku from Palembang is the most sought-after since it has bigger size and taste sweeter than the other kinds, that reason also makes it more expensive , around Rp 20,000 (more or less 2 US$) a kilo.
S a l a k/ Snake Fruit (Salacca zalacca).
In english term we call it Snake fruit because of its scaled outer texture resembling snakeskin. Some local people analogize this fruit like building structures : the brown scaled skin looks like a house roof, then when you peel it off you'll see the thin translucent layer looks like glass, after you rid of the thin layer you'll see the flesh of salak which resembles white wall of a house, finally after you eat the flesh you'll find the seed which looks like rocks constituting the wall.
This is another favorite tropical fruit which has specific taste and aroma. Two places which supply excellent salaks are Pondoh and Bali. Salaks from those places are well known with their sweetness and quality. Pondoh is an area near Yogjakarta. Salak from this place tastes sweet and dry. Bali produces two superior salaks, the regular salak Bali and salak Bali Gula Pasir (gula pasir = cane sugar) which tastes not only sweeter but also crunchier, than the regular one.
Manggis /Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana).
Manggis is also called the queen of fruits or in Indonesia it's also called 'The black sweet" due to its black look and (acidic) sweet taste. The flesh of manggis is segmented into some parts. Jutted sections outside manggis' husk indicate the same numbers of flesh segments inside the fruit. Manggis grows fruitfully in Borneo island, it is not only the flesh which is useful but the husk also contains certain substances which are utilized for medication and rust proof material.
Srikaya (Annona squamosa),
Another tropical fruit which has particularly sweet flavor with bumpy, light green look . Besides its pleasant taste can be eaten without prior treatment, this fruit can be processed into jam, syrup, and ice cream flavor. Unripe green fruit and seeds from Srikaya are also beneficial as vermicide and insecticide. Although Srikaya can be found all year long, the peak seasons happen two times in a year.
M a t o a .
Matoa (Pometia pinnata) is a plant typically related with Western Papua, although this tree also grows in other islands. Because of the relationship, Matoa has chosen as identity plant of Western Papua Province.
Matoa fruit has something unique that other fruits don't have, this fruit has taste which combines rambutan, durian and longan. So, the taste is predominantly sweet with combination of those 3 flavors.
Matoa grows at 900 - 1700 m above see level, and starts blooming in July - august, then the flower becomes fruits around November until February. This reproduction cycle of matoa shows that the fruit can be found in season all year long.