Walking through the produce section of the grocery store, everything tends to look very familiar. Even just the general shapes are predictable with most products being round or long and thin. Only occasionally, or in special stores, do you come across a funky looking fruit that requires you to read the sign to know what you are looking at. One of these days you may lay your eyes on a fruit labeled "rambutan" for the very first time. You may ask yourself, "what is rambutan?", only to just buy one and try it out. Here is all you need to know about the hairy, tropical fruit that is rambutan.

Where Does it Come From?

rambutan, sweet
Michelle Yan

While you may not be familiar with the fruit lychee either, both are Southeast Asian specialties that are gaining global popularity, with tradition remaining in rambutan as not just a yummy fruit but a source of medicinal healing

The fruit is red with small yellow or green accents on its hairy like exterior, but the inside is a clean white with seeds. Things like this only grow well in warm climates, like California or Florida. 

What Health Benefits Does it Have?

berry, rambutan
Roxanne Lim

Other than being a source of possible medical benefits, incorporating rambutan into your everyday diet has some more basic benefits that are worth it.

We often give oranges the most credit for vitamin C, but rambutan will also give you that boost that you need. As a good source of natural sugar, rambutan may be a good way to combat obesity while providing B vitamins and fiber

Most foods are best enjoyed in moderation, so hitting the sweet spot of rambutan consumption could do great things for your health and weight.  

Where Do I Even Begin Eating It?

rambutan, lychee, purple mangosteen, sweet
Delaney Coleman

Literally meaning "hairy fruit", rambutan isn't as hard to eat as it looks. The hairy like features are not sharp in any way, so it is possible to bite down on a rambutan in order to get to the sweet center.

An alternative is to simply cut it down the middle just partially in order to have access to pry it open the rest of the way. From there you can squeeze out the middle edible part, but be sure not to miss the sweet juices that may flow out of a fresh rambutan. 

What Does it Taste Like?

As far as fruits go, rambutan is on the sweeter end of things. Best described as a "sweet creamy rich flowery" flavor in the Huffington Post, as it is hard to compare to other food  commonly found in America. The floweriness and creaminess compliment each other by adding to the fruit's juicy consistency. 

Rambutan does not have to be eaten alone. Like many other fruits, it is popularly enjoyed tossed in a salad. As it gains popularity there are sure to be more surprising combinations, like in cocktails or cakes. 

Rambutan may not be stocked in your local supermarket, but if it is be sure to pick it up. There is something to be said about the many exotic fruits that are making their way to the states with force. 

We have to be willing to give them a try while also not taking them for granted. Rambutan has been enjoyed for years upon years without people asking "what is rambutan?" but now it is really its time to shine.