Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It’s ‘buah tampoi’ season

‘Buah puak’ - also known as ‘buah tampoi’ - is among the fruits in season now.

IN ABUNDANCE: Iswan at his ‘buah tampoi’ stall.

The fruit is gradually making its appearance in various markets in the city since a fortnight ago.

Many think ‘buah tampoi’ is a wild fruit collected from the jungle.

“This may be true in the past. But the fruit we see in the market nowadays is the cultivated one,” said Johnson Bujang, the owner of an orchard in Bukit Peninjau near here.

According to Johnson, the fruit is of two types ‘puak bubur’ and ‘puak batu’.

The ‘puak bubur’, he explained, has a tougher orange-coloured shell that has to be squeezed hard between the palms to open, while the reddish shell of ‘puak batu’ is easy to crack open. And the flesh of ‘puak bubur’ is white and much tender than that of ‘puak batu’ which is yellowish and tougher.

Johnson said most people, if not all, regarded ‘puak bubur’ as of better quality.

Many eat ‘buah puak’ with its seeds, and if too much is consumed, it can cause constipation, unless one drinks more water after eating it. It is believed that eating ‘buah puak’ with its seeds together with some bananas is good for ‘cleaning’ the digestive system.

Harvesting ‘buak puak’ is similar to harvesting ‘langsat’, said another orchard owner who is an expert tree climber in Sungai Mallang Atas in Bukit Peninjau.

He is sought after to climb fruit trees.

“My services are needed because the fruits will easily split if they fall to the ground,” said the man who did not want to be identified.

The ‘buah tampoi’ in the markets here is available at RM5 per kg or RM8 for two kg. A trader in the tamu at the E-mart Commercial Centre, Iswan Ali said good quality ‘buah puak’ with smooth attractive skins could cost as much as RM8 per kg.

“This fruit is very sweet, but can last only for about a week after it has been harvested,” he said.



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