It was on our last road trip to Bali, when my wife Zurina suddenly became a little girl. She was transported back to her childhood memories when she recognised a small oval fruit that looked like small young potatoes, but with a sweet fruity scent. She screamed “….. oh baby, you have to try langsat, it was one of my favorite fruits when I was a child…”
Lansium parasiticum comes from the Mahogany family, which bears very popular edible fruits called Langsat or Duku. Langsat and Duku are native to the Malaysian archipelago but over time has been introduced to several other countries across the Asia. Because of this Langsat is known by many different names – Lanzon, Duku, Longkok, Lotka, Ceruring, Dokong, Lanzon, Bon Bon to name few.
Langsat and Duku looks almost identical except for several small details. Langsat has a thin skin, the flesh is watery and tastes sweet and sour. Whilst the duku fruit is large, round in shape with a thick skin that has small seeds and thick flesh. Some people describe langsat and duku as a tastier version of lychees and longans.
Langsat does not last longer than 3 days once picked from trees while duku does. For this reason duku is exported to Singapore and Hong Kong in fairly small quantities, and is mainly consumed only in countries where it grows.
The wood from the tree by itself is very strong and is used in construction projects. While the fruit is traditionally used for culinary reasons and as a complement to fruit salad, desserts and thai curries. It is also often cooked into a syrup or canned.
I hope you like the cocktail below…
Cocktail Recipe-Bon Bon Cocktail
50 ml Young 3 year old rum
15 ml Fresh lemon juice
10 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml Langsat syrup
75 m Fresh Pomegranate juice
Combine all the ingredients in shaker, add as ice as possible and shake. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with lemon peel.
Bartender’s note: “One tree can produce up to 100kgs of langsat over a year.”