The answer is that both are one and the same. Mamón Chino or Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)) are the names of is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae and the fruit of this tree. It is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia, although its precise natural distribution is unknown.
Rambutan is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the lychee, longan, and mamoncillo which we explained in yesterday’s post. The name rambutan is derived from the Malay word rambut, which literally means hairy caused by the “hair” that covers this fruit, and is in general use in Malaysia and The Philippines and other countries of Southeast Asia.
The outer skin is peeled exposing the fleshy fruit inside which is then eaten. It is sweet, sour and slightly grape like and gummy to the taste. The fruit is dark red with a “hairy” surface, thus the name rambut as explained earlier. The fruit are usually sold fresh, used in making jams and jellies, or canned. Evergreen rambutan trees with their abundant colored fruit make beautiful landscape specimens.
I found a stand selling this Asiatic fruit and immediately took some pictures for your appreciation. I also bought several fruits to take more shots when I got home. The home pictures was a humoristic approach of presenting the fruit in a rather stylish manner. Mixing mamones chinos with celery, bananas, water, and green sweet pepper is not exactly exquisite French cuisine, but let me say that it was fun and the colors were great.
These are the pictures taken of mamones chinos in Panama. Here we go.
And now you know more about this hairy tropical food sold at many of our farmers’ markets in Panama. Good Day.