Mystery fruit UNMASKED | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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Mystery fruit UNMASKED

A little detective work uncovered a host of names for this little gem, and let's spare a thought for our feathered friends this season

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How many times have you seen something but paid no attention to it, until somebody asks you about it and you cannot answer? That’s what happened to me when Euna Kamath wrote to say that she came across some fruit that looked a lot like lychees but were much smaller, with a seed that was quite like that of rambutan. 

“The flesh is sweet-sour, and like rambutan the flesh does not come clean off the seed,” she wrote. “What is the fruit called in English and in Thai? Can you throw some light on it?” She sent me a picture to make sure I knew what she was talking about.

I have seen the fruit in the market a few times, the latest only the day before I received her email, but I never paid attention to it, nor tried to taste it. I have always thought it was a wild variety of lychee, but after receiving Ms Kamath’s email I was no longer sure. I told her I’d ask the vendor the next time I saw the fruit, and promptly went back the next day to ask the vendor about it. “It’s a wild variety of lychee,” he answered, and I quickly relayed the answer to Ms Kamath.

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