Brightly colored rambutans are now being featured in sidewalk produce stands in Manhattan, Sunset Park, and Flushing Chinatowns for about $5 per pound.
Looking like the hairy intestinal polyps of space creatures, rambutans are bright pink fruits that can run in size from an olive to a small apricot. The hirsute appearance is alarming, but, luckily, the thick hairs don’t weigh much, though they do interfere with getting at the flesh inside. That flesh is a pellucid pearl color, and tastes something like lychees or longans. To eat, simply rip the skin off, and work your way around the pit with your lips, teeth, and tongue.