Saturday, July 02, 2005

Eat, sniffs and leaves


Sentol
Originally uploaded by lekowala.
Siva sniffing the very fragrant Sentol purchased from the Thai embassy bazaar (no apples and pears there, just durians, mangosteen, jambus, mangoes etc). The Sentol, Sandoricum koetjape, Meliaceae is a fruit of the past. I have eaten it on occasions when my grandmother or mum got it from Malaysia or the local wet markets when it was in season. My landlady used to comment that she very much enjoyed eating fruits and vegetables that were in season. Chen Kee also got a first taste of this relic fruit. Active conservation of our fruit heritage. I wonder if we'll find info on the nutritional value of such fruits compared to grapes, oranges and pears.


Thanks for the comment below Otterman!

4 Comments:

Blogger Sivasothi said...

One of the most interesting places to visit in Southeast Asian countries are the markets - and the fruits are one interesting draw. Singaporeans would be hard-pressed to identify half of what they see! Our diet (mine too) is of a relatively low diversity.

The Sentol was a nice reminder of this; thanks for bringing it in. I like the comments of the Pernakan woman who said, "it is not a coconut" - her closest point of reference!

Some interesting notes off the web:
Various sources: 'Sandoricum koetjape is a fast-growing tree, that reaches up to 50m in height, has yellowish-reddish fruit, up to 3 inches in diameter, a white, fibrous sweet to sour fruit pulp, and 3-5 inedible seeds. The fruit is eaten fresh and clings to the seeds.'

"This is probably the only commercially important fruit in the mahogany family." - Wayne's World.

"... called the "Lolly Fruit" because you have to suck it to get the flavour, as the flesh sticks to the seed." - Cape Tribulation, a tropical fruit orchard and bed & breakfast in Australia.

But suck don't swallow
"Most of the time, the seeds will be passed out through the anus during bowel movement."

"However, in some cases, the seeds may cause intestinal obstruction by sticking together to form a hard bolus of seeds or by completely plugging the intestinal lumen that has been previously and partially constricted by a disease like a tumor or tuberculosis."

'The seeds may also cause perforation of the intestines.' - Dr. Reynaldo Joson, head of surgery at Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, The Philippines.

Photo of Gibbon eating Sentol - Gibbon Rehabilitation Project). See also remarks here.

Thomas' leaf-monkey too! "Kunkun (1986) found that the following species were the staple food for Thomas's leaf-monkeys: Samanea saman, Hevea brasiliensis, Mikania chordata, Artocarpus integer, Sandoricum koetjape, Musa sp., and Durio zibethinus.

This species will use the front teeth to pierce through the hard husks of fruit or through thick bunches of leaves (Ungar, 1996b)."

Varieties
There are yellow (sweet) and red (sour) varieties - Trade Winds Fruit.

First fruit featured in Dipolog (Philippine city) list of fruits (listed as synonym S. indicum) - red variety.

NParks lists this as a native of Singapore.

Nice photo by Gerry Carr, U. Hawai'i.

Names of places
Sentul, Sentol, now you know! E.g. see Virtual Tourist. Latest - a new city develpoment in Kuala Lumpur, Sentul Raya (2005 report!).

Traditional medical uses
"The fresh leaf when applied to the skin is sudorific and in decoction is used to cure fever and diarrhoea.

Fruits are used to prevent the secretion of fluid from the wounds.

Bark as a protective medicine after child blrth. Powdered bark treatment for ringworm.

Roots are reputed for their tonic, stomachic, carminative and antispasmodic properties." - ARCBC compilation.

Chemical compounds
Compounds from the plant extract possess anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Monkey said...

got to agree that the fruit diversity in singapore and even the veg diversity as well. and to think we're considered pretty diverse in european/american standards. what about those punks! depraved with only lettuce and citrus.

when i was in thailand living in the village trying to document even a fraction of the plants these folks know of, its just incredible.

5 species of white rice, 3 species of glutinous rice, 9 species of bamboo and quite a number of bananas alone. this is not including the misc stuff...

10:44 AM  
Blogger lekowala said...

Waah Monkey, you must tell us more about your Thai Village stint, sounds damn interesting. Got pictures or not?

Which punks eat citrus and lettuce - quite healthy diet.

5:27 PM  
Blogger November said...

to think of it
i take that back
they only eat hotdog and soda grrr

thai stint got picture
surely not as exciting as any of you botanists' forays into the jungles/mangroves

10:57 AM  

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