Rambutan is native to Indonesia and other tropical Southeast Asian areas. Having grown up in the U.S., it's not a very common fruit, so today was the first day I have ever had Rambutan. What does Rambutan taste like? That's a good question!
Maybe you are like me and passed this fruit in the grocery store a few times. I would have to say that the biggest stoppers for me trying this fruit was that I was unsure of how to actually eat it and I had no clue what it would taste like.
So What Does Rambutan Really Taste Like?
Rambutan tastes like a mix between a grape and a fresh date. Whenever you eat a fresh date, the fruit surrounding the seed has a sort of bitter taste. Rambutan shares that quality. The fleshy part of Rambutan is tender and a little juicy- just like a grape. I would say it's sweet like a grape but less sour and tangy.
Another way to describe rambutan taste is like lychee. But if you are like me, you probably haven't had lychee before either. Shortly after eating Rambutan for the first time, I bought some lychee. Both rambutan and lychee are juicy and sweet.
I love how Rambutan looks- it’s so exotic and colorful. I passed Rambutan so many times in the grocery store. To be honest, I didn’t know how to eat rambutan, so I never bought it. It's a lot less intimidating once you cut the outer hairy skin layer.
Rambutan is not very large in size- the body is about the size of a golf ball. Now thinking about it, it's like a golf ball with a bad hair day.
Here’s How To Eat Rambutan
1. Wash Rambutan.
I put all of the rambutans in a large bowl and fill it with water. I drained the rambutan with a strainer. If you would like, you can towel dry the rambutans, but there is really no need to.
2. Cut Rambutan.
Using a knife, cut circularly just piercing the hairy skin. If you cut too deeply, then you will also pierce the soft fruit under the skin. There's a hard seed in the middle of the fruit to be mindful of when cutting.
3. Eat Rambutan.
After I removed the hairy skin, I ate the soft fleshy fruit around the seed. The seed was not easy to remove without making a mess, so I found this to be the easiest way to eat it.
Other Ways to Eat Rambutan
I have eaten rambutan two ways: by itself and in a smoothie. It's kind of expensive where I live, so I only tried it once in a smoothie. And the flavor wasn't particularly life-changing in the smoothie, in fact, I couldn't taste it at all. Maybe if this fruit was a little cheaper, I'd add it consistently to get the added nutritional content of Rambutan.
Where Does Rambutan Originate From?
Rambutan is primarily native to southeast Asia, so you will find it available locally in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. However, a lot of countries import rambutan so you might be able t find it at your grocery store (like me).
Nutritional Content of Rambutan
It contains iron and a high amount of vitamin C for its small size. If you'd like to know more information about Rambutan, click here.
How to Store Rambutan
Rambutan can be stored in or out of the fridge. It should be peeled right before it's eaten to maintain freshness. If you find Rambutan fresh at the supermarket, you can expect it to last about 4 to 5 days in the fridge, and about 3 to 4 days if left at room temperature.
Fresh Drinks to Have with Rambutan
If you were ever wondering "what does rambutan taste like", hopefully, this post helps to explain. Try this little hairy fruit if you get the chance!