If Malaysia is the land of odd fruit, then Sarawak must be the capital. I have just as much fun looking at it all as I do eating it. This one is called a
Kuap Terap, according to the guy who sold to me. My Malay dictionary doesn’t have it, Google doesn’t have it, SR had never seen one before. It must be in the same family as the durian, but it is even more bizarre. It’s about the size of a football (sorry, American football) but more rounded. It is completely covered in little rubbery stalks about an inch long. The stalks are stiff, with a rounded rubbery ball at the tip. It’s like fruit as designed by the Nerf people. The stalks come out of an inch thick skin. Inside is a mass of little white fruits attached to a central core. The fruits are very sweet, but are just a thin slimy wet skin over a nut. So out of a football sized nerf creature, there is maybe a tea cup worth of actually edible material. It’s tasty enough that I forgot to take a picture of the fruit itself before devouring it all. But I really am surprised that Google, the font of knowledge, doesn’t have any information on this thing at all. So I will start a little gallery of Sarawak fruit for your viewing pleasure. Longans are in season right now, so stay tuned.
[Update: Here’s a picture of the whole fruit. I’ve been scouring the web for any clues about this thing with no luck so far. But I did find a fruit that looks very similar, except that the fruit inside is red. It’s called a Bintawa. See a picture of it here (scroll down).
[Update #2: Terap! Terap, not Kuap. Thank you very much to Lan and/or Ambo for writing with the correction. Terap is in my Kamus Dwibahasa, according to which terap is:
A tree (Artocarpus elasticus) the bark of which is used as cloth, ropes etc. by aborigines; the sap from this tree is used for trapping birds.
No mention about the fruit. The Forestry Department of Brunei Darussalam (website in Malay) mentions terap on a page about traditional forest produce. They identify a fruit-bearing terap as Artocarpus odoratissimus. Either way, that puts the terap in the same genus as Cempedak and Jackfruit as Br. Affendi suggested, not Durian, which I would have guessed from the outer skin. And for my Michigan readers, the Artocarpus trees are all in the same family, Moraceae, as our common (to the point of being a weedy nuisance) Mulberry. So! Does anyone know where to find a quality illustrated botany text for Malaysia/Indonesia?