Friday, July 30, 2010

Three types of Baccaurea fruits


Thanks to Frank of , I now know the scientific name of the fruit we came across in Mulu NP. The locals called it "Mulu Apple" which I had long suspected to be a Baccaurea species. Baccaurea lanceolata to be specific. According to Frank, all Baccaurea species have edible skin, but not all are eaten or used in local or native cooking.

I have never tried the flesh or aril inside, just bit into the skin to have a taste. Has quite a tangy flavor which would explain why it’s suitable for use in cooking local dishes such as kari asam ikan or sour fish curry. Baccaurea angulata or buah gerumin aka tampoi belimbing is also used in the same manner.

Besides Mulu National Park (top photo), I have also come across B. lanceolata in the Bengoh dam area close to Kuching. It has also been reported in Sabah and West Malaysia. The name "Mulu Apple" as the locals call i,t is a bit misleading. The species is clearly found elsewhere and not endemic to Mulu.

This B. lanceolata tree laden with fruits was photographed next to some beautiful waterfalls in the Bengoh dam area, not too far from Kampung Semban. It appears to be a wild tree (not planted by farmers). Sadly, that place will be flooded come next year when the Bengoh dam is completed.

----3March2012----The Ibans call this fruit buah empaung and if I remember correctly, the Bidayuhs call it buah linggir but don't quote me as I didn't jot the name down! I saw the dried skin in a Bidayuh kampung and asked about the uses. Interesting stuff, will have to do a bit more research and fact finding before I write an entirely new entry about this fruit.----end update----

Baccaurea angulata which is locally known as buah gerumin or buah tampoi belimbing. The fruits have a tangy taste, both the aril and the skin. A seasonal fruit which is often seen from November to January, sold by roadside sellers and in native fruit and vege markets.

And this is perhaps the best known of all Baccaurea species, Baccaurea macrocarpa or buah tampoi. It is a popular seasonal fruit in Sarawak and usually available at the end of the year  (peak fruiting season). Some varities have white flesh.


Anonymous said...

Baccaurea spp. are endemic to Southeast Asia. These pictures are a good introduction to the 40 + species exist in the Malaysian jungles. The most popular name for Baccaurea angulata is the Iban name "Ucong". They are usually red or pink but deep in the jungle there exist a yellow variety also.

As for the orange flesh tampoi, in my opinion it is not Baccaurea macrocarpa, which has a white flesh. It is probably Baccaurea deflexa or Baccaurea pyriformis.
Keep up the good work, Sarawak Lens!


sarawaklens said...

Thanks Frank, valuable info as always. About B. angulata, "gerumin" is the bidayuh name. I've never heard of the Iban name "ucong" actually.

CiXeL said...

Frank, yes i know of him through eric bronson a fruit hobbyist friend of mine and i believe the source of the mind blowing fruit photography on this site:

It's horrible to think that so much of this is getting wiped out =( I need to get over and explore as much as I can before it's gone. =(
Millions of years of biodiversity wiped out so that one day people can sit in dimly lit cubicles answering phones and typing away in jobs they hate. is this progress?

sarawaklens said...

Chris, yep that's Frank's old site but he said he lost the password to it. :)

"Millions of years of biodiversity wiped out so that one day people can sit in dimly lit cubicles answering phones and typing away in jobs they hate. is this progress?"

apparently some people do. when they get off work, they can't wait to head into the malls or stuffy pubs.

Anonymous said...

I am too poor for the Pubs so I have to go upriver and drink with my old Iban friends in the jungle, tuak or langkau listening to boring stories of the good old headhunting days :)

Leku said...

The Mulu Apple also found in Long Pasia, on the way jungle trekking to Senipung Hill :-)

Anonymous said...

I have also encountered Baccaurea lanceolata under different local names like Buah Emaung,Paung Limpaung
close to Tekan,Song,Long Lellang and Lawas,Sarawak, also on the Malay Peninsula on Tioman Island,Pahang and near Kuala Krai,Kelantan.It is actually quite common in most of the Malay jungles.So maybe we can call it "Malay Apple" instead of Mulu Apple :)

Anonymous said...

During colonial times the British had one wise rule: "Never learn language from your servants."

You see, during your trip to Mulu your boatman made up a name for a jungle fruit..."And in the beginning the was the Mulu Apple" It sounds like a story from the Bible. :)
I just had a couple of drinks but I know you have moderation enabled so it's up to you censor me...:)

sarawaklens said...

Frank, regarding the name Mulu Apple, I think it's been around for a long time. Check this blog:

I thought he had coined it but I think he meant the tourists in his group and not necessarily him.

Here's a follow up comment by the author, Philip:

Anonymous said...

I do not hang around with tourists (local or foreign) they have never been my crowd, or with people involved in the tourist trade.So I was not aware of this "playing Adam in the Fields of the Lord" bit by tourists.
However,the main issue still remains:these species are NOT endemic to Mulu National Park, thay are quite common allover Malaysia and probably Indonesia as well.
So the name, however affectionately was given is a misname based on the ignorance of the people who came up with it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarawak Lens,
Temporarly, I've made my blog for members only because some Indians and Malays were copying photos for their own sites.Please send your email and tell John to do the same so I can put you on the list and you can log in.

sorry for the inconvenience,


Anonymous said...

The Internet is full of misinformation about fruit identification. Since nobody bothers to correct those mistakes from the so called "scientific community" I have also decided to abandon the Internet and mind my own business.
I have wiped my blog as well as my website clean and deleted my Google account.I will never again put up information on the Internet about anything.


RWS Photo Blog said...

Due to its low value, Baccaurea angulata tree are less and less each year.

Anonymous said...

The rare fruits group at yahoo take their fruit ID very seriously.

paper said...

hi..may i know where can i get the Baccaurea angulata? i do try my best to find it around Sabah but this fruits is currently out of season. i need it for my research project..thank you!!

sarawaklens said...

paper, every fruit season you can buy them from fruit sellers in Kuching and other smaller towns in Sarawak. Should see many for sale around March. I am not in the business of sending or selling seeds so can't help you there. All the best with your research.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...