trafic jam

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rambutan, the Jakarta Native Fruit

May be Jakarta is the only state capital endowed with various fruit trees. Indonesian people know well about an old song entitled Banana Cha-cha-cha indicating that the city is a fertile area where a lot of fruit-trees can be easily cultivated especially papaya, mango, bananas, guavas and rambutan.

If you have a house with sufficient large garden, you can try to cultivate one of them but mostly rambutan tree. Jakarta seems to have suitable good weather with enough rain and good soil for any kind of rambutan tree which is capable to produce a lot of fruits.  

A good thing is that its leaves can make Jakarta become greenery. When we are in rambutan season, the green leaves are almost covered by the beautiful red color of mature rambutan fruits. And at that time, you can buy rambutan with cheaper price sold by the sidewalk traders.

Rambutan scientifically is named as Nephelium lappaceum Linn. In general, rambutan trees are planted in places where the land contains water, air slightly moist until at an altitude of 600 m above sea level. Rambutan trees have many ramifications, with the height up to 20m or more. The leaves are oval, light green color, fruit-stranded, skin color green, yellow, or red if it is mature. The fruit contains protein, fat, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and vitamin C. His skin may be used as a remedy dysentery.

In Jakarta, rambutan tree widely planted in the area of Ciracas and Cilangkap, the southern part of Jakarta. Trees are planted either from seed or from slips and they don’t require special attention. After four to five years, the trees will bear fruit once every year for more than 15 years.

There are 22 kinds of rambutan cultivated in Jakarta, but only five kinds which are highly economical to cultivate. Rambutan is an hairy fruit having red, yellow or green with sweet flesh and a bit dry, chewy, and sometimes easily removed from its kernel. The fruit can endure up to 6 days after picked up.

Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) when campaining for his presidency last year, he held the press conference under rambutan trees in the the pooling booth near his residence in Puri Cikeas, Bogor.

Barack Obama, now the president of United States of America, when he spent his childhood in Jakarta, in 1967 to 1971, he liked to eat rambutan along with his other food favorites namely bakso (meatball) and nasi goreng (fried rice). 

As he postponed his strip to Indonesia twice because of  his duty to push through health care reform and later the Gulf  of Mexico oil spill problems, may be in the next visit in November, he would like to eat his nostalgic fruit, hoping that next November  will be the rambutan season.

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