Buah Tarap (pronounced is Sarawak as Buah Terap) season is here. This is one of the most delicious of all the tropical fruits and is also a beautiful exotic tree. It has lobed leaves, as large as 2-4 foot long and 1 foot broad, similar to the Breadfruit’s, but a little less lobed. In a wild, it is found extensively in Brunei Darussalam and parts of Sabah and Sarawak and of course right here at The Kebun.
The fruit does not fall to the ground when ripe, only when it is over ripe and rotting. It may be harvested while still hard, and left to ripen until soft. The ripe fruit is opened by cutting the rind around or just twisting and gently pulling the halves complete the operation. The inside of the fruit is somewhat similar to the Jackfruit but the color is whitish. The core is relatively large, but there are fewer “rags” and less non-edible parts. Arils are white and the size of a small grape, each containing a 1/2″ seed. Once opened, the fruit should be consumed quickly (in a few hours), as it loses flavor rapidly and fruit oxidizes.
To open the fruit, just press your thumb into the soft skin and pry the pieces away and you’ll be greeted by a nicely arranged array of white sacs that looks like pale miniature Cempedaks. They will be wrapped in yellow tendrils extending from the husk and stuck to the main stem of the fruit found in the center. To eat, just twist the fruit and pop it into your mouth and the center of the fruit consists of a single oval shape brown seed. A single Tarap can hold as much as 150 to 200 little sacs within but the size of the fruits will vary from tree to tree.
Excuse me while I go open and enjoy another Buah Tarap.