What Does Rambutan Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Rambutan Taste Like? 

Rambutans are tropical fruits, native to Southeast Asia, and they taste sweet and juicy with notes of sour or tangy taste. They have a crisp yet jelly-like texture similar to that of grapes or cherries. Some varieties of rambutan can be sour. The seed of the rambutan can taste bitter and is considered harmful to eat. 

Here is the ultimate guide on everything you need to know about the taste and flavors of rambutan. 

So, let’s get right into it. 

What is Rambutan? 

Rambutan is a prickly or hairy-looking fruit, native to Southeast Asia, that belongs to the same family of fruits as lychee or longan.

It comes with red or green skin, under which the flesh is translucent white, and there is a single seed.

It is about the size of a golf ball or smaller. It is packed with nutritional benefits. 

What Does Rambutan Taste Like? 

Rambutan is juicy and sweet to taste when fully ripe. They have a bit of tanginess and are often compared to lychee. It can taste bitter around the seed, but if the rambutan is fully ripe, the seed comes off easily, and the bitter taste is unnoticeable.

Sometimes rambutan can also taste sour and is similar to grapes in certain aspects. They are a refreshing and perfect summer fruit.

The flavors are more in line with most tropical fruits like mango or pineapple. It has a jelly-like texture with a bit of crunch, similar to grapes or cherries. 

But the rambutan loses its sweet flavor the longer it is left out, plucked from the branch.

They are best eaten fresh. The other option is canned rambutan, in which case, added sugars keep the sweet flavors intact.

Does Rambutan Taste Like Lychee? 

Yes, rambutan is often compared to lychee in terms of taste. They both have juicy sweet flavors and similar textures as well. But the rambutan has notes of sourness and stronger sweetness which is not found in lychee. Moreover, lychee lacks the crunch that rambutan has. 

What Does Rambutan Smell Like? 

Uncut or unpeeled rambutan does not have any distinct smell. It has an earthy or green smell but when cut open it has a pleasant fruity and floral sweet and sour smell. It is compared to the smell of pineapples when they are ripe.

Can You Eat the Seed of Rambutan? 

No, it is best advised not to eat the seed of rambutan. While the juicy fleshy part of the rambutan is great to taste and filled with health benefits, the seed is bitter to taste and can be poisonous in large quantities. So, it is best to remove the seeds and eat the flesh alone.

The seeds should easily separate from the flesh when the rambutan is thoroughly ripe.

Here is a quick video on how to eat Rambutan –

Does Rambutan Taste Bitter? 

No, a ripe rambutan tastes juicy and sweet. It may have notes of tanginess. Some varieties of rambutan may also taste a little sour. The seed of the rambutan, however, can taste bitter. The flesh on the other hand does not taste bitter.

Do Different Varieties of Rambutan Taste Different? 

Although there are different varieties of rambutan, they taste more or less the same and have only slight variations in taste and texture. Certain varieties, such as Bahrang, are sweeter while, Si-Nyonya has more sour notes. The texture is crisper in the Rapiah variety when compared to others.

But the main differences between varieties of rambutan come in their appearance and size. 

Bottom Line 

I hope this article helped you discover the taste and flavor of the rambutan. 

If you have any doubts or would like to share some taste tips of your own, it would be lovely to hear from you. 

Feel free to share this article with your family and friends who would love to try some tropical flavors. 

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About Jane Lewis

Jane loves spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, traveling to explore new cultures and wines, and tending to her backyard garden. She's a passionate home cook who enjoys trying out recipes from all over the world.