If I have to rate my favourite tropical fruit, the duku langsat would not rank very high on the list. It isn’t that I dislike the fruit, but it is simply because I prefer eating EITHER the Duku OR the Langsat. The duku langsat is a hybrid of these 2 tropical fruits.
The scientific name for Duku Langsat is Lansium domesticum. So says wikipedia. The fruit is larger than a red globe grape and comes in clusters. Duku Langsat are always sold loose, as you see in the picture above. The skin is a pale yellow shade and is inedible. To eat it, you must first peel the skin off.
Eating this fruit is very easy. Hold the fruit between the first finger and thumb and pull apart slightly. It will open up as you see in the picture, to behold the seeds inside. What you eat is the translucent flesh covering the seeds. Be careful not to bite into the seeds because they are terribly bitter!
The thick opaque flesh however, is juicy and slightly sweet-sour. A good quality duku langsat will be sweet when fresh, but the sweetness diminishes over the days. A poor quality duku langsat will be tasteless.
To ensure you are buying fresh duku langsat, these are some tips:-
- The skin should be firm not soft
- The skin should be a very light yellow, with minimum black patches
- The top of the fruit where the stem is should be white not black
The duku langsat does not travel very well, so its hard to find fresh and good ones in the city. You can easily find this fruit in most small towns where they are planted in durian plantations as a side income crop.
How is the duku langsat different from the Duku or Langsat?
Duku - The fruit are round like golf balls and have a very hard skin. They don’t bruise easily and an unripe fruit is super sour! If it is fresh and ripe, it tastes tangy and sweet and delicious!
Langsat – The fruit looks similar to the duku langsat but are always sold on the stem. If they drop off, they are no longer fresh. The skin has a lot of latex if you don’t open it properly so eating it requires a technique not many have. The fruit is very sweet. It is nearly impossible to find this anymore and I really miss it.
For those wondering, this is also a relative of the Dokong - looks similar but is sold on the stem and do not have sappy skin. They are very expensive and are very sweet. I absolutely dislike the Dokong because to me, there is no character to the fruit
The duku langsat and its relatives don’t travel very well, lasting only 1 or 2 days before they turn bad. So, it isn’t easy to find it outside of Malaysia and the South East Asia region. I personally have seen a tiny little bunch in Harrod’s in London, but it was already way past its display date and it cost about £5 for about 5 fruit! Perhaps it is to fulfill the cravings of the Malaysians living in London
So, I don’t quite like the duku langsat, but I’ll take what I can get, because these tropical fruits are getting scarce with fewer people enjoying them now. Its a pity really. They are absolutely delicious!