Monday, September 21, 2009

What is it?

When Bernadette brought these into the office the other day and distributed one to each of us the whole place was abuzz. What the heck was it? There were some creative theories. A strawberry that needs laser hair removal. A red urchin. A "toy" the likes of which civilized people do not discuss in mixed company. She explained it was a dragonfruit but what it actually is is a rambutan. Literally translated rambutan means hairy and the fruit is native to Indonesia and Southeast Asia. In any case, none of us had ever seen or tasted one and in the typical diversity of an office some people devoured them instantly while others saved their precious treasures for later.

Upon slicing open this ugly duckling a perfectly shaped, translucent white swan appears. The flesh of the fruit is sensuously smooth, a melon like texture not unlike lychee, a close relative, with an intense sweetness and fragrant aftertaste that whispers to one like a light citrus cologne on a warm summer night.

It's times like this that I wish I really did own a restaurant so I could plunk a case of these down on the table and gleefully admonish the staff to "play" with these, as Frank McLelland would say, to discover the possibilities. The perfectly shaped vessels could be filled with brightly colored sorbets, a flavorful gel, a miraculous mousse. What, oh what, would Ferran do?

Small note: During this weekend's tech meet-up and re-do (which I hope you enjoy) it was brought up that I am not all that accessible. Well I am all open to criticism and new ideas. So, in addition to my email and twitter link I'd like to add that I will be posting my weekly agenda of events starting next Monday morning. I am always looking for friends to attend with me, really. So just call my mobile and we can have some fun on the town. I often have free tickets.


  1. Those fruits are also widely available in Latin America... when I lived in Costa Rica people went crazy for them when they came into season. There, they're called "mamones chinos."

  2. Used to be able to buy them at my corner mini-mart in Hackney.