Monday, December 23, 2013

Cempedak Seeds - A Rare Delicacy

Unknown to most, the seeds of cempedak  ( Artocarpus integer ) is a rare delicacy .  It can be fried, boiled, grilled or toasted and then peeled and eaten as snack.  The taste is similar to chestnut, but less sweet and less fragrant.

It is however less favourable by most people maybe due to the way the seeds are obtained. 

A cempedak fruit is normally sold whole, rarely cut.   It is often consumed fresh straightway, or made into fritters.  Normally,  a fruit contain some 20 – 50 edible arils, so a whole cempedak is usually too much for a person to consume.  Even though keeping for later consumption is possible, but not for very long time, thus a cempedak is often shared with family and friends. 

During a typical cempedak-eating session, friends/family will gather around the cempedak.  Everyone, using their hand will help themselves with the arils.  After consuming the aril, the seeds are discarded.   The seeds are therefore, will be covered by everyone's saliva. 

Or, if one bought some cempedak fritters for own consumption ( to avoid cross-salivation ), the seeds are too few for all the trouble of long hour cooking.  Not economically feasible at all. 

The seeds are of course washed before cooked.  But the fact they were salivated by others impedes some to consume, or having the though to consume the seeds…  ( but the civet coffee are very much sought after.  They don’t have problem paying for a highly priced civet coffee, of which the beans were collected from civet’s feces )( or consuming the expensive ebn from the saliva of swifts birds )

It often require a long time to have the seeds cooked.   Once cooked, the skin had to be painstakingly removed.  And the taste is somehow bland, in contrary to the odorous arils.   

Then, maybe you wander from where I get my cempedak seeds.  Who had salivated them ?  

Well, I can tell you…  I ate the whole fruit myself !


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