Fruit, of all types, is one of the ultimate things to consume on the planet.
It’s fresh, sweet, juicy, natural, and pure healthy goodness.
Not only do I love bananas, mangoes, apples, pineapple, and other around the world familiar fruits, but I also particularly enjoy sampling rarer breeds of exotic fruit.
Southeast Asia, as well as any other tropical countries along the equator, are blessed with an abundance of ridiculously sweet and awesome fruit.
Cempedak is especially popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Southern Thailand, and Papua New Guinea.
It is very similar to the much more common jackfruit, but while a jackfruit is huge and oval in shape, a cempedak is tubular and about the size of a rugby ball that’s been squished.
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I tasted my first cempedak a few years ago in southern Thailand, and now I eat one at every opportunity possible.
Many exotic tropical fruits have a strong aroma.
A super ripe cempedak can be smelled from far away, a natural scent that to me smells a little like fermented urine combined with sweet syrup (not the most attractive description I’ve written); But believe it or not, I absolutely love the smell!
To eat the fruit you simply open it up to reveal the bite sized nuggets.
Some people enjoy cempedak fruit battered and deep fried into fritters, but I most prefer it straight from the wrapper.
The taste is quite similar to jackfruit, a hint of banana mixed with a bit of pineapple. But the sweet honey nectar flavor of a ripe cemepdak is what makes it far more superior than a jackfruit.
I used to love jackfruit, and while I still do, after I tasted my first cempedak, a jackfruit just can’t compare.
The seeds can also be boiled and eaten like small potatoes.
Cempedak, while widely available in southern Thailand during fruit season, is extremely rare in Bangkok (video).
So when I happen to bump into a fresh batch of the fruit in Bangkok I buy as many as I possibly can.
Next time you happen to see a cempedak, buy it and try it.
It’s one of my all time favorite fruits in the world!