(Nephelium lappaceum)

Costus speciousus

    Family: Sapotaceae
    Genus: Nephelium
    Species: N. lappaceum
    Common Names: Rambutan, Quita de Sabor
    Cultivation: The plant grows best at a pH as low as 4.5 to 5.8, in an environment free from frost and in partial shade with high humidity. Without the use of plant hormones or electricity, the seeds have a 24% sprouting success rate. The plants first bear fruit after growing for approximately 2–3 years. Origin: West Africa

Documented Properties
& Actions:
Attempts have been made to create an artificial sweetener from the fruit, with an idea of developing this for diabetics. Fruit cultivators also report a small demand from cancer patients, because the fruit allegedly counteracts a metallic taste in the mouth that may be one of the many side effects of chemotherapy. This claim has not been researched scientifically, though in late 2008, an oncologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Florida, began a study and, by March 2009, had filed an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For a time in the 1970s, US dieters could purchase a pill form of miraculin. It was at this time that the idea of the "miraculin party" was conceived. Recently, this phenomenon has enjoyed some revival in food-tasting events, referred to as "flavor-tripping parties" by some. The tasters consume sour and bitter foods, such as lemons, radishes, pickles, hot sauce, and beer, to experience the taste changes that occur.

Botanical Source. Seedlings can, on occasion, be as good as previously selected varieties and are then used as scion material or budwood to replicate it by grafting it onto a seedling rootstock. Grafting often accelerates the first flowers in numerous plant species and often leads to earlier fruit production than on trees growing on their own roots.

The grafted varieties tend to have larger fruit and there may be as few as 9 or 10 to the pound or as many as 16 to 18 per pound. The ungrafted seedlings tend to have smaller fruit and there may be 16 to over 20 per pound. In addition, the edible proportion inside each rambutan fruit may be reduced in the seedling due to typically smaller outside diameters combined with medium to large seeds. The other factor which may affect your enjoyment is that many seedlings have fruit with a very fibrous texture a lot like the canepa (Meliccocus bijugatus) and are quite firmly attached to the seed.

Source, History, and Preparation..

The word "rambut" in the fruit name 'rambutan' is Malay for 'hairy,' and this refers to the spiky rind. Indeed, without the soft spines on the rind, the rambutan would resemble the lychee (or litchee) which is in the same botanical family. The structure internally is quite similar, with a single central inedible seed and edible white flesh wrapped around it but the skin is the part that makes the rambutan so distinctive in appearance. Other members of the same botanical family, the Sapindaceae, include the longan (Dimocarpus longan), the canepa or mamoncillo (Melicoccus bijugatus), the pulasan (Nephelium mutabile), and guaraná (Paullinia cupana).

Nutritional Values.

This is only an approximate base to go by as other regions of the world where this fruit is grown  have differences in soil types and pH variations, microclimates, fertilizer, irrigation water and rain chemistry, humidity, wind and the amount and intensity of sunlight as well as what roots are used for grafting, all these factors may have a significant impact on the nutritional values posted below.

Fat .68%
Protein .91%
Nitrogen .14%
Ash .33%
Calcium 9.58 mg/100g
Iron .34 mg/100g
Magnesium 12.3 mg/100g
Manganese 1.06 mg/100g
Potassium 84.1 mg/100g
Sodium 20.8 mg/100g
Zinc .17 mg/100g
Phosphorus 16.6 mg/100g
pH 4.66
Vitamin A <40 IU/100g
Vitamin C 59.4 mg/100g
Fructose 2.9 %
Glucose 2.9 %
Sucrose 11.4 %
Maltose <.1 %
Lactose < .1%
Riboflavin 0.050 mg/100g
Thiamin <0.010 mg/100g
Fiber .05%