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Friday, 2 August 2013

Baccaurea racemosa or Menteng or Asam tambun

Baccaurea racemosa is a kind of tropical tree fruit that South East Asia endemic especially Indonesia, that
now in threatened with extinction, the fruit of this plant named Baccaurea javanica (Menteng).  From outside appearance, this fruit is very similar to Duku . However, the taste and its proximity botanically differ significantly.

Round-shaped fruit with a brownish-yellow color when ripe and yellowish green when young, this fruit is not really a favorite even in the region of origin, perhaps because of the sour fruit flavors with just a hint of sweetness.

This fruit have some local names,  Indonesia: Menteng,  Kisip, Roesip, Kemundung, Kepunung, Engkumi, Kayu masam, Kokonau, Kunau, Kunyi, Longkumo, Moho liox, Tunding undang, Umbarian. Malaysia:  Asam tambun, Rambi, Tamut, or Tampoi.

Naturally, Baccaurea racemosa is a forest plant and grow wildly.  Their natural habitat is in danger, especially for those that grow in plantations and community forests.  Local communities tend to displace this tree because of economical reason, this plant is not profitable in term of today economy value.

Characteristic of the tree:
Menteng plant is a tree or shrub with a height between 15-25 m with a diameter of 25-70 cm, rough-skinned, and whitish. More leaves collected at the end of the branch, oval-shaped, with serrated edges and a pointed tip. Menten This tree grows in the lowlands to a height of 1000 feet above sea level. Preferred habitat is dry to the alluvial soils and on sandy soil and clay. g has leaves 7-20 cm long, 3 to 7.5 cm wide.

This plant has a taproot; timber trees are of good quality and can be used for building houses, boats, and furniture.

The fruit:
Mentang usually eaten directly as a fresh fruit, and the fruit has a sweet acids taste, besides eaten directly, Menteng can also be processed into syrup, pickled, or fermented into drinks.  Round, yellow to brownish, almost liquid flesh with seeds in the middle, usually there are three to four seeds, each seed has its own protective cuticle also protects the fruit flesh. There are two  flesh colors : red translucent white or translucent purple, depending on the type of its plant varieties.

Menteng is a seasonal fruit, flower season occurs between the months of October to December, and then harvest the fruit between January and March, the fruit Menteng has a diameter of 2 to 2.4 cm.

Menteng formerly so famous even used, this can be indicated by naming Menteng used also for multiple locations and roads. Even U.S. President Barack Obama lived in Indonesia when he lived in the elite residential area called Menteng. Menteng also be the official name of the district administration at that area. However, the popularity of the fruit slowly fade over time as well as the number of supply dwindling as the trees gradually reduced.

Menteng now seemed to have become the fruit of the past, now the fruit is hard to find even at the harvest time, whereas the fruit is very suitable enjoyed during the middle of a sweltering day in the tropical area like Malaysia or Indonesia.

Nutrient content per 100 g:  Energy = 65 kcal, Protein = 1.7 g, Fat = 0.2 g, Carbohydrate = 16.1 g, Calcium = 13 mg, phosphorus = 20 mg = 1 mg Iron, Vitamin A = 0 IU, Vitamin B1 = 0 mg, and 3 mg  of Vitamin C.
Sources: Ministry of Health Indonesia publications and other sources.

Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  •                       Sub Class: Rosidae
  •                           Order: Euphorbiales
  •                               Family: Euphorbiaceae
  •                                   Genus: Baccaurea
  •                                       Species: racemosa Baccaurea.