The rambutan is an incredibly strange looking tropical fruit from the southern regions of Asia. The rind is soft but textured and covered in little "tentacles" that look as though they've evolved for the distinct purpose of getting stuck in the throat of any poor creature who ventured to swallow one whole. It is very closely related to the lychee (which I actually mistook it for until doing further research) and looks very similar except for the spines covering the rind.
Peeling the outer skin reveals a veiny white flesh again resembling that of a lychee. The fragrance is very sweet and struck me as having hints of magnolia and melon. The flesh has a texture and appearance much like that of a large peeled grape but a bit firmer and creamier.
It's been a while since I had a lychee so my memory of the flavor is dim but I believe the rambutan tastes incredibly similar except without any hint of sourness or tartness that I seem to remember being a mild characteristic of the lychee. The rambutan Very sweet (but not overbearing) with a creamy mouth feel and tastes of flowers. There is also a large, almond shaped seed in the middle that is not meant to be eaten but has the lovely flavor of sweet wood when left in the mouth before disposal.
The presence of the nut means and the rind means the amount of flesh found in the rambutan is quite small but that suits the rich flavor. However, I was almost charged $6.50 for just one of these little fruits and somehow ended up paying a buck so beware of the price when reaching for these fuzzy tropical balls of flavor.