The Pulasan is a unique and exotic fruit indigenous to South East Asia. It is characterized by its spiky outer shell, small round shape, and fragrant, creamy flesh.
Pulasan is most commonly found in countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia, with some other countries also growing smaller crops. Its star-shaped skin is green in color with a hint of purple, and the true ripeness of a Pulasan can be determined with a light squeeze on the skin.
The edible flesh of a Pulasan is a soft, creamy yellow-white substance, and the succulent flavor is a mix of sweetness and light sourness that is quite distinct from other tropical fruit.
The best way to eat Pulasan is to split it open, remove the two large edible seeds and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. It can also be juiced or dried, although it reduces sweetness.
Once picked, Pulasan must be consumed quickly as it only stores for a short time. The ideal temperature for their storage is between 50°F and 60°F, which must be achieved within 4 hours of harvesting.
The Pulasan is often used to make jams and spreads, juices, and desserts in the countries of South East Asia where it grows. It is a key ingredient in the Malaysian dessert of Ais Kacang, which is traditionally served with a topping of pink syrup, creamed corn, and cubed ice.
Pulasan is high in Vitamin C and calcium, so it is known to have many health benefits. It also contains anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants known to have anti-inflammatory effects.
The Pulasan tree is an evergreen and can grow up to 30 meters in height. It can survive in areas of low soil nutrients and can resist drought and pest damage.
Cultivation of the Pulasan can be tricky; the ideal temperature for producing a good crop is between 24°C and 34°C. The trees should be planted during the dry season and can only survive three weeks of rainfall every two weeks.
The Pulasan fruit is packed full of essential oils that will attract species of beneficial animals such as bees, birds, and butterflies that can help control the local pests.
The Pulasan is believed to have originated in the Malay Peninsula, where it is considered to have been prized for its medicinal properties for centuries.