A long time ago my grandfather Tiong Kung Ping (who passed away in 1963) had a Wong Dan tree at the end of his garden. And being naughty kids we would climb the tree and eat the fruits even before they were really ripe!
Grandmother Siew and our adopted aunt Ah Hiong would always remind us that eating too many of these sourish sweet fruit would kill the greedy person: " Wong Dan Dan si nerng."
When we grew up and left Sibu we stopped eating the fruit because the property was abandoned as development took place and we even forgot about the fruit which was phased out by more trendy fruits. Today hardly any Foochow can remember the fruit or even own an old fruit tree some where in the backyard.
Today perhaps only the Ibans and other indigenous people carry on relishing the dried fruit in particular. Added to fish soup this exotic fruit is fantastic. Such dried fruits are only found in the markets of Brunei and Kota Kinabalu. Most of the dried fruits are enough for home consumption today. They are dried and packed in platic bags and sent to loved ones living in Kuala Lumpur and as far away as Amsterdam or Oslo!! This is called a slice of love from home.
I have tried cooking Ikan Senangin Soup with a few pieces of the dried fruit. Refreshing and Excellent! Last week I managed to get a few grams of the sour fruit and will keep them for my Christmas cooking when the children come home.
A slice of buah kundong.
Close up of the dried fruits.
A tray of buah kundong drying in the sun.