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Category Archives: INDONESIA

Mencepu, Cerapu, Kecupu [Garcinia Praniana]

Mencepu Garcinia Prainiana [1]

Mencepu, Cerapu, Kecupu [Garcinia praniana] is small tropical fruit tree with glossy leaves and very fragrant reddish-pink flowers. Easily found in deep within the verdant rainforests of South Thailand, Malaysia and Borneo. Menchepu (Garcinia prainiana) plants begin a most ancient of rituals. Menchepu is little known by the present generation may be due to the sour taste of the fruit is causing isolated from other local tropical fruits.

Mencepu Garcinia Prainiana [2]

The fruit is round in shape like a tomato and size also vary according to the fertility of the plant. Normal size of this fruit as the same size of tomato; when its ripe the size is between 30mm – 50mm only.

The ripe fruit is orange in colour, while young fruit is green colour. Its skin is very thin, soft, and stick with its contents. Its contents always in orange colour and rubbery flesh. The skin can be peeled by hand and its contents have small flats like mangosteen. This fruit has seeds about (5mm-8mm). The fruit is somewhat sour and chelate in flavour.

Mencepu Garcinia Prainiana [3]

Amidst the dense foliage, small red flowers emerge like jewels from the deep green branch tips, effusing their sweet aroma in hopes of seducing tiny insects. Beneath the tropical sun, the insects flitter playfully among the male and female blooms, unwittingly pollinating their thankful hosts. Brilliant orange fruits have very pleasant taste, with unusual sweet-sour flavoured pulp. The trees are very slow growing but long-lived and can fruit when only a few feet tall, 5-10m, crown narrow, dense, bushy.

The fruit is a little gummy and sour tastes, a lot of people do not eat directly instead use them in cooking.

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Roselle

RoselleRoselle, the plant bears a berry-like fruit which is rich in vitamin C and anthocyanins (potent antioxidants).

Hibiscus sabdariffa is an erect shrub with smooth red, cylindrical stems and green maple-shaped leaves.  It can grow to a height of about two metres.

The flowers have a blood red centre.  They do not last long, opening light yellow in the morning and turning a gorgeous pink as they wither off by mid-day.  The fruit is a fleshy, juicy, dark red calyx consisting of five large sepals enclosing a green seed capsule.  Each capsule contains three to four brown kidney-shaped seeds.  The capsule turns from green to brown and splits open when mature.

The cultivar, H. sabdariffa var. sabdariffa race ruber, is grown for the calyxes we use in making roselle drinks.  Another cultivar H. sabdariffa var. altisimer is grown commercially for the production of jute-fibre in India.

Despite its short life (about a year or less) as an annual, it is very productive.  A healthy plant can easily produce about 250 calyxes per annum.  If you have five to seven mature plants, you can harvest the fruit every fortnightly and have enough to give neighbours and friends.

Young shoots and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.  In any case roselle is already known as a health drink due to its high contents of vitamin C and anthocyanins (antioxidants).  Vitamin C and anthocyanins found in roselle juice or tea drink are good for our health and can increase the level of resistance of our body to diseases.  In some countries roselle is becoming increasingly popular for health purposes, for example its leaves and fruits are claimed to be effective in controlling high blood pressure.

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Pineapple

Pineapple[1]Pineapple

The pineapple is technically not a single fruit, but a sorosis. The fruits of a hundred or more separate flowers grow on the plant spike. As they grow, they swell with juice and pulp, expanding to become the “fruit.”

Pineapples have exceptional juiciness and a vibrant tropical flavour that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. They are second only to bananas as America’s favourite tropical fruit. Although the season for pineapple runs from March through June, they are available year-round in local markets.

Pineapples are a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets fuse together around a central core. Each fruitlet can be identified by an “eye,” the rough spiny marking on the pineapple’s surface. Pineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves and fibrous yellow flesh. The area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture.

Pineapple[2]Ripe Pineapples

Pineapple are consumed both fresh and cooked, canned, juiced, are found in a wide array of food stuffs –dessert, fruit salad, jam, yogurt, ice cream, crisps, candy- and as a complement to meat dishes. In addition to consumption, in the Philippines the pineapple’s leaves are used to produce the textile fibre – piña – as a component of wall paper and furnishings, amongst other uses

Pineapple, Ananas comosus, belongs to the Bromeliaceae family, from which one of its most important health-promoting compounds, the enzyme bromelain, was named. The Spanish name for pineapple, pina, and the root of its English name, reflects the fruit’s visual similarity to the pinecone.

Pineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves. The fibrous flesh of pineapple is yellow in colour and has a vibrant tropical flavour that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. The area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture.

Although thought to have originated in South America, pineapples were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island that came to be known as Guadalupe. When Columbus and other discovers brought pineapples back to Europe, attempts were made to cultivate the sweet, prized fruit until it was realized that the fruit’s need for a tropical climate inhibited its ability to flourish in this region. By the end of the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced pineapples into many of their Asian, African and South Pacific colonies, countries in which the pineapple is still being grown today.

Since pineapples are very perishable, and modes of transportation to bring them stateside from the Caribbean Islands were relatively slow centuries ago, fresh pineapples were a rarity that became coveted by the early American colonists. While glazed, sugar-coated pineapples were a luxurious treat, it was the fresh pineapple itself that became the sought after true symbol of prestige and social class. In fact, the pineapple, because of its rarity and expense, was such a status item in those times that all a party hostess had to do was to display the fruit as part of a decorative centrepiece, and she would be awarded more than just a modicum of social awe and recognition.

In the 18th century, pineapples began to be cultivated in Hawaii, the only state in the U.S. in which they are still grown. In addition to Hawaii, other countries that commercially grow pineapples include Thailand, the Philippines, China, Brazil and Mexico.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves. The fibrous flesh of pineapple is yellow in colour and has a vibrant tropical flavour that balances the tastes of sweet and tart.

The nutritional profile of pineapple includes a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fibre, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Pineapples are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They’re also a good source of Dietary Fibre, Thiamin, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese.

Pineapple[4]Pineapples are actually not just one fruit but a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets fuse together around a central core. Each fruitlet can be identified by an “eye,” the rough spiny marking on the pineapple’s surface.

Agricultural waste from pineapple, which is eco-friendly can be used as alternative materials for production of home textiles, apparels, non-woven and industrial fabrics and upholsteries. The waste parts left from canning plants, including the skin, core and ends, are used to make alcohol, vinegar and food for livestock.

Pineapple fibres are obtained from pineapple waste, which has high lignin and cellulose content. These were already being used as organic waste till recently, but with recent experiments proving successful in producing silk-like textiles when fused with polyester or silk, these fibres have a new utility.

Pineapple FiberPiña (as it called in Philippines) fibre is extracted from the leaves of the pineapple plant, Ananas comosus.  Piña fibre can be extracted by hand-scraping, decortication or retting.  Pineapple fibres are very lightweight, soft and easy to maintain and wash, and also it fuses well with other fabrics and provides an elegant look.

Pineapple fibres are very lightweight, soft and easy to maintain and wash, and also it fuses well with other fabrics and provides an elegant look. With increasing awareness regarding eco-friendly fabrics, these fibres are now being increasingly used for preparation of apparels and home furnishings such as cloth, shirt, handbag, coaster, floor mat, paper etc.

Piña fibre can be extracted by hand-scraping, decortication or retting. However, it is only by hand-scraping that good quality fibres are produced for handweaving.

Pineapple Shirt[1]

Handwoven piña cloth embroidered intricately were greatly prized then and believed to have matched, or even surpassed, the most intricate laces or other luxurious handiworks. Piña cloth became one of the most sought after handwoven materials because it was a suitable wear to tropical climate and due to its uniqueness and beauty, it offered the most feminine and refined look in an age of elegance and romanticism.

The processes involved in piña fibre and cloth production are too laborious and time-consuming as each step – from fibre production to weaving – is done by hand. Thus, through the years, the younger generation lost interest in pursuing this undertaking, leaving only the old folks to engage in the diverse activities of the industry.

Pineapple Shirt[2]Piña cloth then was described as one of the most beautiful fabrics; only used in the dress of the wealthy, being too costly for common use.

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Cashew Nut

Cashew NutCashew nuts are kidney-shaped seeds with a delicate flavour and a slightly spongy, firm texture.  The apple is a pseudofruit. The edible portion is the kernal (cashew nut). The cashew apple is used as a fresh fruit or made into juice, jams, chutneys or jellies in some countries. The thin skin, and fast decomposition of the apple, makes it difficult to transport.

Cashew nuts are actually seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree.  The seed we know as the kidney-shaped cashew “nut” is delicate in flavor and firm, but slightly spongy, in texture.

You have noticed that cashews in the shell are not available in stores. This is because these nuts are always sold pre-shelled since the interior of their shells contains a caustic resin, known as cashew balm, which must be carefully removed before they are fit for consumption. This caustic resin is actually used in industry to make varnishes and insecticides.

Cashews, known scientifically as Anacardium occidentale, belong to the same family as the mango and pistachio nut.

Cashew nut contains Heart-Protective Monounsaturated Fats.  Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health, even in individuals with diabetes. Studies of diabetic patients show that monounsaturated fat, when added to a low-fat diet, can help to reduce high triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a form in which fats are carried in the blood, and high triglyceride levels are associated with an increased risk for heart disease, so ensuring you have some monounsaturated fats in your diet by enjoying cashews is a good idea, especially for persons with diabetes.

The cashew tree grows in the tropics and subtropics requiring high humidity and fertile soil. Related to the mango and pistachio, the cashew can grow to a height of 15 metres and may bear fruit in the second year, be productive in the fourth year, and reach maximum yields in around ten years.

The outer shell is green and leathery and turns an orange red when mature. The inner shell is hard, similar to other nut shells, and contains the edible kernal. The oil enclosed in the nut’s shell (cashew nut shell liquid or CNSL [anacardic acid]) is toxic and can burn the skin. It is used in producing plastics and as a lubricant and insecticide.

Cashew Nut1

Cashew nut could be found widely in tropical countries such as India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania, Mali and Nigeria and some part of Australia.

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