An introduction to Litchi/Rambutan
Most of us are familiar with the fact that Litchi/Rambutan is a tasty fruit. Before going into the details of Litchi/Rambutan, we have to know something about its scientific classification. First note that Litchi/Rambutan is known as mullan pazham in Malayalam language which is popular in Kerala state, India. This fruit belongs to Kingdom: Plantae with Family: Sapindaceae. The binomial name for rambutan fruits are Nephelium lappaceum. This is mainly cultivated in places like Asia, Malaysia, Sri lanka etc. But in India you can also see Litchi/Rambutan cultivation in Nilgris.
It is interesting to note that the tree which produces Litchi/Rambutan is said to be an evergreen one which is medium sized. Actually, they are tropical trees. The fruits are oval in shape red in color when it is ripe. It has a hairy appearance & they grow in clusters in the rambutan trees. Warm humid climates are needed for the growth of Litchi/Rambutans. It is easy to open the rambutan fruits if they are very ripe. There is a seed present in this fruit & note that they can be removed very easily. But the important point is that deep soils rich in organic matter are suitable for the growth of rambutans. Well distributed rainfall is also essential for growing rambutans. The hairy outgrowth present in rambutans always gives it a distinctive appearance among the different varieties of fruits present in the world. Remember that mullan pazhams are white gelatinous fruits with a sweet refreshing flavor.
Selection methods for best Litchi/ Rambutan
I have already mentioned the color of rambutan fruits. You must be able to distinguish between the ripe & unripe fruits. That means extreme care must be taken for selecting rambutan or mullan pazham from the fruit stores. You must always buy rambutans which have a bright red skin & at the same time must avoid green skinned rambutans. Remember that unripe rambutans are represented by the green skin. Also, you must avoid buying rambutans which have a black color on it. This is because black colors are signs of over ripening.
Nutritional values & uses of Litchi/ Rambutans
It is important to note that Litchi is rich in nutrients like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, ascorbic acid (vitamin C). It should be noted that rambutans or mullan pazham are used in desserts, salads etc. They can be eaten as fresh fruit itself.
Side effects of Litchi/ Rambutans
From the above mentioned points, I think you may be able to understand the nutritional values & uses of rambutans. But the important point to note is that if you are having any allergic reactions while using rambutans, then you must stop it & consult a doctor as soon as possible. Never try self-medications.