Rambutan Season 2015

Anthony Tissera, a rambutan seller in Ja-Ela along Colombo - Katunayake Airport road

Anthony Tissera, a rambutan seller in Ja-Ela along Colombo – Katunayake Airport road

For the last three years, I have been writing a post on rambutan season each year consecutively. After reading my posts, two gentlemen from an Indian fruit farm called Homegrown www.homegrown.in visited Sri Lanka and took rambutan fruits and plants to India. They were particularly interested in Malwana rambutan variety. Now they grow Malwana rambutans in their farm in Kerala, India. They personally visited Malwana with me to see rambutan gardens. I too bought two plants two years back and one survived and thriving now. I learnt from my Indian friends that their plants are also growing well.

Rambutan on display at Kalagedihena

Rambutan on display at Kalagedihena

This time around rambutan harvest has been very good just like the last two years. As a result the price of a single fruit has come down to 5 rupees in Colombo and suburbs and in Kandy as I checked the prices myself. In Malwana, a fruit costs around 3 rupees according to the rambutan sellers in Kalagedihena along the Colombo – Kandy road. Rambutan prices in Anuradhapura, my hometown, is little expensive. They sell 15 fruits for 100 rupees. But fresh fruits are available in Anuradhapura unlike in the past.

A pregnant woman selling rambutans in Kalagedihena. It was from people like this that the notorious deputy minister allegedly collected commissions.

A pregnant woman selling rambutans in Kalagedihena. It was from people like this that the notorious deputy minister allegedly collected commissions.

It was reported this year that a politician, a deputy minister from the previous government took a cut from the small scale rambutan sellers in Gampaha district, his electorate, by force. After his party was defeated at the presidential election in early January this year, rambutan sellers lodged a complaint against the former deputy minister. He was so corrupt that his own party rejected his nomination to contest to the parliamentary election scheduled to be held in August this year along with some other former MPs who have corruption and drug trafficking allegations. This is a good move. It is sickening to hear that a person in the capacity of a deputy minister collecting commissions from the poor rambutan sellers. Imagine what he must have taken from the mega projects in his electorate and in the capacity of a deputy minister in his ministry.

Rambutan on a creative display in Digana, Kandy

Rambutan on a creative display in Digana, Kandy

OK. Back to rambutans. According to the sellers, the season will last around three more weeks and this is the peak of the season. Prices will fluctuate according to availability of the fruits in coming weeks. So, if you want to visit Sri Lanka to taste rambutans, this is the high time you visited. Do not regret and postpone your visit. If you visit Sri Lanka these days, you will see rambutans from the airport road itself to almost all parts of Sri Lanka. Mohammad, an experienced young driver from Colombo who can speak decent English has been our chauffer during our visits to Malwana and you too can contact him on 071-2669696 and arrange a trip to Malwana rambutan gardens. He knows the right places and people. Just let him know in advance. His fares are reasonable as well.

Though there are two colors of rambutans as red and yellow, red variety is the most sought after by the customers though the tastewise there is no big difference. Malwana variety is the most popular over other types that come from adjoining areas of Malwana.

These are some useful links to websites about rambutans. Apparently, there is a dedicated site called www.rambutan.com with a lot of information and lovely pictures. Though the site design is not very professional, it has a lot of necessary information.

  1. Rambutan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan

  2. Opening the rambutan – http://www.rambutan.com/

  3. Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka – http://www.agridept.gov.lk/index.php/crop-recommendations/1083-rambutan

Durian Season is On

Durians for sale along Colombo - Negambo road

Durians for sale along Colombo – Negambo road – Photo – Nandasiri Wanninayaka

This is the durian season. I tasted my first fruit yesterday after seeing a friend of mine’s photo of an opened durian in Facebook.

I bought a fruit for 330 LKR. In fact I had to haggle it down to that amount from an original 350 LKR. I took it home and first showed it to my son who had not seen one before. Then I opened it and showed him again and he didn’t want to join me to taste it. Maybe due to its odor. For me, though, it is a fragrance.

Nobody at home wanted to share the fruit and I had to eat it up alone! The delicious it was, but it was too much for me. The durian was full of flesh. I ate it all and it was so strong in nutrition that I fell asleep immediately after eating it for full two hours. I shouldn’t eat a full fruit hereafter.

Durians are hated by many due to its peculiar odor. But a few like the smell. This is full of nutrition and is considered the “king of fruits” by Southeast Asians.

I first ate durians a long time ago when my eldest brother who worked in Kothmale brought home some fruits. Nobody except my eldest brother and I ate the fruits. When offered to some of the village youth, one guy told, “You should have the experience of eating shit before eating durians.”

Muslims in Sri Lanka buy this a lot according to the sellers. This is said to be an aphrodisiac as well. Durian lovers don’t mind the high prices as they know its effect. Unfortunately, durians, mangosteen and rambutans come in more or less the same season and your eyes go only to rambutan due to its attractive color. I don’t know much about mangosteen, but you should try a durian once in a while.

ඇවිල්ලා ඇවිල්ලා රඹුටන් වාරය ඇවිල්ලා


ඡායාරූපය – නන්දසිරි වන්නිනායක

රඹුටන් වාරය නැවතත් පැමිණ තිබේ. මෙයනම් මගේ පොකට් එකට බෙහෙවින්ම බලපාන කාරණයකි. ඒමන්ද, මගේ පුතා, අභිලාෂ් රඹුටන් කෑමට ඉතා අශා නිසාය. ඔහුට දිනපතා රඹුටන් සැපයීම අදින් ආරම්භ කළෙමි. රඹුටන් වාරය අවසන්වී ඇට ගැහිච්ච, ලොං හැලිච්ච ගෙඩි ඉතිරි වනතුරු මම දැන් නොකඩවා අභීට රඹුටන් සැපයිය යුතුය. මම එය ඉතා සතුටින් ඉටු කරමි.

අද රඹුටන් ගෙඩියක මිළ රුපියල් දහයකි. ගියවරද පටන් ගත්තේ ඔහොමය. ඒත් සති දෙක තුන යන විට ගෙඩියක් ශත පනහ දක්වා මිල බැස්සෙය. මෙවරත් එසේ වේවායි පතමි. එහෙත් පහුගිය වැසි දිනවලදී බොහොමයක් පැහුන රඹුටන් ගෙඩි බිම වැටී විනාශ වූ බවද කොහේ හරි කියවූවෙමි. ඒ නිසා මෙවර රඹුටන් මිළ අප කැමති තරම් පහලට නොයනු ඇත.

රඹුටන් වත්තකට ගොස් රඹුටන් කතාවක් ලියාගෙන ඒමට මම ඉතා කැමති උනත් තවම එහෙම අවශ්ථාවක් ආවේ නැත්තේ ඇයිදැයි මටම නොතේරේ. මම දැන් ඉන්නේ ගම්පහ දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ නිසා එය ඉතා පහසු කටයුත්තක් උනත් තවම රඹුටන් වත්තක් සමග තානාපති සබඳතා ගොඩ නගා ගැනීමට මම සමත් වූයේ නැත්තෙමි. කවුරුහරි එහෙම සබඳතාවයක් තියෙන අයෙක් සිටීනම් කරුනාකර මාව අමතන්නැයි මම ඉතා ආදරයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමි.