Friday, September 11, 2009

Duku fruit

What is Rambai, Langsat, Duku or Dokong? we city folks are not able to differentiate the differences of this family of Meliaceae....except for Rambai, they belong to the same species. After durian, champedak, now is their season.....

Trengganu is famous for these fruits, especially at Manir.

Thank you Ah Ho for the duku fruits given which are from his orchard at Balik Pulau. The fruits are sweet and juicy.

1. The duku(Lansium domesticum): A vigorous, spreading, symmetrical tree with dense foliage, fruit in clusters of 4-12. Duku is round in shape and slightly bigger than a golf ball. It grows in clusters with a thick leathery skin which is in golden brown colour and can be peeled into segments when gently pressed on the top of the fruit. Each fruit composed of a few segments of juicy and refreshing flesh that is tangy sour to sweet taste. Some segments may contain small and bitter seeds. The flesh is usually white but some are pink. Fruits are spheroid, 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in diameter, with a thick peel, little to no latex, and a sweet, aromatic pulp. The seed is ellipsoid in shape.

The duku with the thicker skin is the tai-ko or big brother of langsat family.During the late 90s when I was in Kuala Trengganu,the Lansium domesticum Corn, is the best duku from there. The duku from Ah Ho's orchard may be Duku muar variety, it is of bigger size.

Duku is originated from West Malaysia but it is cultivated through out the whole region nowadays. It takes about fifteen years for a duku tree to reach maturity; but the wait is worthwhile as they bear clusters of fruit twice a year thereafter.

In Terengganu, duku is cultivated in Manir area in Kuala Terengganu. During the harvest season, there are lorries lining up outside the orchards as to collect and weight the fruits then distribute to other areas later.

DU1 is Malaysian variety.

2.Dokong((Lansium domesücum Corr):From Thailand, fruit spheroid, about 1.5 inches (4 cm) in diameter, thick peel with no latex, soft, sweet, aromatic pulp, and seedless or with very few seeds.

While on the way to Kota Bharu, we also bought dokong fruits from the road side stalls near Jeli-Air Lanas, the fruits tasted good. But to my surprise the one I bought at Relau,Penang is much cheaper and taste better. The uncle told me the dokong was from Baling. Dokong is the premier variety, similar to the Ang-Har of langsat family. There are 3 types of dokong; dokong kering(dry), dokong air(watery) and dokong biji(seedy). According to Department of Agriculture, only three clones DO1, DO2 and DO3 from Dokong kering have been registered. The dokong originated from Thailand.

3. Langsat(Lansium domesticum Corrêa): Slender tree with open crown, fruits in clusters of 6-40. Ovoid fruit about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, thin peel containing latex, sour to sweet. Contains 1-3 green, bitter seeds.

As for langsat, you can buy it anywhere; it is now an ordinary fruits. Langsat comes from the same species as duku but langsat grows not as wide as duku does and is cultivated on a lesser scale. Langsat fruits are always smaller and oval in the shape as compared with duku. The skin is pale and fawn colour. Langsat usually grow in 6 to 12 fruits in a single cluster and each fruits composed of a few segments each each with green and bitter seed and sourer in the taste. The skin exudes latex or sap even when it is mature, this makes it less welcome than duku. LA 8, LA9 is Malaysian varieties.

4. Rambai(Baccaurea motleyana): It look like langsat but is from different species, the sweet acidic sour variety, which I have not try for a long time. I used to wait for the fruits to float on the stream at Paya Terubong during the childhood days in late 50s, the fallen one must be the over-ripen one throw away by monkey or other animals. Then it was in the 7th lunar month of Chinese Calendar, where it was offered to the hungry ghost, during Hungry Ghost Festival(中元节), that is the current month of September 2009.....

There are also the hybride, the duku-langsat.Has characteristics intermediate to langsat and duku. Fruit in clusters of 5-25, ovoid shape, sweet and aromatic, thick peel. Varieties include 'DL1' and 'DL2' from Malaysia.

Note: The scientific name may not be accurate.

Related article/blog:
1. Duku, (used to be) the Fruit of Terengganu (Dated: 2007 Jan),

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