Rambutan is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the Lychee, Longan and Mamoncillo. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name rambutan, derived from the Malay word rambut which means hair. The fruit flesh is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor. The single seed is glossy brown, 2-3 cm long, with a white basal scar; it is poisonous and should not be eaten with the fruit flesh.
Rambutan is usually sold fresh, used in making jams and jellies, or canned.