February 10, 2012

Buah Puak or Tampoi

Buah Puak is the Iban name for this lovely fruit.It may not be as fleshy as an avacado or a Thai mango but eating it according to a nice Iban young man is nostalgic. The sweetness reminds him of his parents and his grandparents in the longhouse.

"You can eat all the mangoes your wallet can allow you but this fruit is special because it is only found in my village specificially and in Borneo." He explained.

Buah Tampoi / Tampui 單貝果 Baccaurea macrocarpa is indeed a very unique fruit .

It is dark when young and it starts to turn its colours as it ripens. From a distance the red colours become very attractive to those with a keen eye. In Limbang buah puak trees are found from time to time along the road and usually quite close to the kampongs. This tree is a cultivated tree although many people believe otherwise. But then perhaps it was five or six generations ago when the Iban settlers who were brought by the Brooke government to this part of  Sarawak that they grew the fruit seeds they brought from Skrang!!

The leaves are luxuriant and often times you need to have a keen eye to find the fruits. First you must recognise the leaves and then find the fruits underneath.

A fully ripened puak tree!! As beautiful as a cherry tree.

The beautiful puak when still young - it has a greenish dark brown skin and is thus unattractive. Animals like squirrels and monkeys are not attracted to this colour. The law of nature thus makes the fruit pretty in colour when ripe so that it can propagate!!
The skin of the ripe fruit is easily bruised like all fruits. To harvest the fruit you have to be a good climber of trees or you can use a stick to fell the fruit which usually leads to bruising. But bruising does not destroy the quality of the flesh as the fruit has a thick skin. Monkeys and squirrels love this fruit.

This fruit is divided into three sections. You have to take time to suck the sweetness out of the lobe . The flesh sticks to the seed. and is not what people call "kopek" (flesh leaves the seed)

When the durian season is over the longhouse residents continue to enjoy their rambutans and langsat.

One of the last remaining fruits would be the Puak. As the sun sets behind the hill it is nice to sit down by the river side and enjoy the clean fruit...the skins can be thrown back into the river for fish to bite. Then it is time to set up the net or pukat ..ready for another exciting day. Early morning will be glorious as it would be time to check the pukat for fish...and then more fruit harvesting while the season can still hold its ending!!

N.B. It is also a good idea to build a compost with all the fruit skins of the season or even make enzymes.


sintaicharles said...

I first ate it at the age of 11.

sintaicharles said...

My Mum had to coax me to eat it.

wenn said...

haven't seen this before..

Anonymous said...

its different from the other buah tampoi which have yellow color fruits inside,eh?

- Ah Ngao

stephen said...

Wow! How Exciting, finally know the name of this fruit, jsut saw them last week while at the open market at Sarikei. Thanks for the info! :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

In those days buah pua was common. Today it is harder to find.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Interesting. Mums always try their best to get their kids to eat. It took my mum a long time to get me to eat brinjal...Thanks for sharing.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Wenn - this fruit is only found in Borneo according to some books I have..May be people in Semananjung are starting to grow it...cheers.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Same family. This type has thicker flesh and always sweet.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yeah..in West Malaysia the name is Buah Tampoi..almost the same but this variety in Limbang is fairly good.

Ann said...

enzymes: how timely, because I made some, and wanted to ask you about it.

I can't recall this fruit.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Enzmes - 1:3:10

1 kg brown sugar
3 kg fruit peels especially citrus fruits
10 litres water

Tight container. Release gas after one month. and then stir..keep another 2 months. Ready for use 3 months after making.... Others please up date me if I am wrong.

Ann said...

is it good? I might have made a mistake of keeping it just for 2 months. May be my imagination, when addedto dish washing detergent, the dishes do appear to be cleaner. Doing a bit of research on it.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...Sibu people love making this enzyme..and really make sports clothings very clean..just need a bit of detergent. Washing of dish clothes etc excellent recent..soak over night and all grime gone!! 3 months.

Jobless Girl said...

Very rare and hard to find this fruit here.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Jobless Girl
The Buah Puak of Limbang is very sweet because the seeds were originally brought from Skrang where the variety might have been the best.

I like it very much as the sweetness remains in the mouth for a long time. It is hard to find in the towns actually because town people do not appreciate it..and besides the fruit is rather perishable.

Anonymous said...

It's a real sad thing to know that. I hope our S'wak government can GI it like Terung Dayak/Iban and anyone who has the plants or seeds passing down from generations, pls protect and pass it down as HEIRLOOM seeds (pls google to read about this and related subjects). Never GMO (genetical modified)our Sarawakians fruits, vege, rice or other foods,GMO is a real hazard for health and enviroment. Keep all the "HEIRLOOM" & protect our enviroment for our future generations. Go organic. LOVE SARAWAK.

Anonymous said...

I agree w Anonymous of today. If you find varieties which hv been passing down from generations to generations, continue doing it for the future generations. I hv bought a hse in west-M'sia, I just can't find original fruits trees to be planted in my yard from the plant nurseries.We hv to hunt for organic /non-gmo foods which r quite expansive, sarawakians r lucky and keep lucky...provided, keep all the heirlooms.

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