Shoppers on the East Coast and in the Midwest are discovering a new fruit that’s currently being promoted throughout over 2,000 stores in 16 states. It’s called rambutan—and it’s not only tasty, but it also has a very unusual appearance that is especially eye-catching for kids and adults alike. It’s even being called the “new spooky fruit” for Halloween parties.
Rambutan is a tropical fruit, similar to lychee, and originally from Southeast Asia. It is round and about 1½ inches in diameter and has a large nutty seed in its core. The pulp is slightly translucent white, sweet and mildly acidic. Fresh rambutan has a bright red leathery exterior with soft red spikes, which can also be light green. The seed may be cooked and eaten. In Vietnam, where the fruit is extremely popular, it is nicknamed “messy hair” due to the pliable spines.