Rambutan vs Lychee Fruit: What’s The Difference

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You might have heard or seen the flavours “lychee” or “Rambutan”. They are used as exquisite flavours for sorbets, cocktails as well as ice cream. Although new in our part of the world, these are old flavours for most of South Asia. They are tropical fruits that have a season and we will be covering everything about them. Both these fruits are quite exotic, even at the places they are cultivated at. These flavours are used for a lot of delicacies. 

In this article, we will be discussing the Rambutan vs Lychee and difference between the two and the million other factors that you can compare these two. We will cover the basics and then we would move on to the features of each fruit. By the end of this article, you would know the difference and the things you can do with that information. 

Rambutan vs. Lychee

What is Rambutan Fruit?

Rambutan

Rambutan is a tropical fruit hailing from southeast Asia, it is mainly cultivated in parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, and  Thailand. It is the size of a golf ball and has prickly hair around it. The outer skin is easily distinguishable. In Vietnam, this fruit is called “Chom chom” which loosely translates into messy hair. Even the name that is popular is due to its outer skin, in Malay “hair” is called “Rambut”. Interesting, right?

You have to peel the skin to eat it, the inside texture is similar to lychee and has an incredible aroma and sweet taste. 

 What is Lychee Fruit?

Lychee

Lychee is a tropical fruit grown in China, India as well as some parts of Hawaii. They are very similar to rambutans except their shell is scaly and does not have hair. For this fruit also you have to peel away the skin and eat the insides of it. 

The inside of lychee is exactly like rambutan, they are soft tart-like fruit whose skin is aromatic and the taste is sweet. 

Lychees grow in clusters and can be found in grocery stores of the countries mentioned above. 

Rambutan vs Lychee: Factors to Compare

There are many factors you can compare with Rambutan vs Lychee . Let’s discuss some. This is a small guide to compare the factors between a lychee and a Rambutan. Here are the different factors they will be compared in-

  • Nutritional Content 
  •  How to Eat
  •  Appearance
  •  Origin & Cultivation
  • Taste
  • Size

Let’s begin-

Nutritional Content 

Both of them are rich in antioxidants and vitamin c. They are also quite rich in potassium. Since the pallets of both these fruits are the same so is their nutritional content. 

How to Eat

Both of them are to be eaten in a very similar way, you have to peel off the skin. Which is scaly for lychees and hairy for Rambutans. Once you peel it, you discard the skin and eat the fruit wrapped around a seed. You can add both the fruits in salads, smoothies, and ice cream. 

Pro Tip- both of these fruits taste quite well with vanilla ice cream, it’s a delicacy in some parts of the world. 

Appearance

Both are glossy fruits wrapped around a seed once the skin is off. The only way to tell the difference between a Rambutan and lychee is to tell by their skin. Rambutan has a hairy one and lychees have a scaly one. 

Origin & Cultivation

Lychees originated from southEast Asian countries like- India, China. Also parts of Hawaii. It is cultivated in a bulk, they grow in clusters there are three to fifty lychees per bunch. 

Rambutan hails from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. They too grow in large clusters. 

Both are from the botanical family of soapberry along with Longan fruit and horse chestnut.  

Taste

Even though they look alike, they have different tastes. Rambutan is more creamy and has more aroma; it tastes almost like dragon fruit. Whereas lychee is a bit more crispy and lighter it has similar notes to watermelon. 

Both of these fruits however make for a great ice cream flavor or an amazing smoothie flavor. We have earlier discussed lychee and vanilla ice cream being a delicacy in some parts of the world. Both these fruits have a tropical undertone and their flavors are also used in good cocktails. Rambutan is used in a very famous sweet and spicy cocktail whereas lychee goes great with any gin-based cocktail.

Size

Rambutan is sized like a golf ball and lychees are half its size. So lychee is sized as a smaller golf ball. 

Conclusion

Hope that now you can tell the difference between rambutan vs lychee. Remember the outer skin is the key difference between them both. The taste too differs but other than that it has many similarities, my favorite similarity of these two is that they are delicious. 

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