What is a Cempedak? (with photos)

Jackfruit is closely related to cempedak.

A cempedak is a fruit found predominantly in Malaysia and Thailand. It is also known as chempedak. This fruit comes from the entire Artocarpus tree. The term ‘Artocarpus’ is derived from two Greek words, artos, meaning bread, and karpus, meaning fruit.

These trees grow up to 15 m tall and are found in low-lying tropical forests. The tree’s leaves are dull green and have brown fur. When young, the cempedak tree has a smooth bark that grows rough as it ages.

A cempedak is a fruit found predominantly in Malaysia and Thailand.

The Cempedak fruit is yellow, brown or green and contains between 100 and 500 seeds. The fruit is barrel or pear-shaped, while the seeds are kidney-shaped. These seeds are wrapped in a soft yellow pulp that can be eaten without being cooked or otherwise prepared. The pulp has a sweet taste and strong smell, being the most used part of the fruit.

The seeds of this fruit can also be roasted and eaten, as well as the pulp around the seeds. This part is also used to make sweets and cakes and can be salted to make a kind of jerky. Whole fruits are also cooked and eaten. In Malaysia, the tree is grown commercially for food production purposes.

Thorns cover the outer edge of the cempedak fruit, but it can still be easily opened by hand. When a cempedak fruit is opened, it excretes a sticky substance. This requires an oil-based product to remove, as water is ineffective.

Closely related to the cempedak fruit is the jackfruit. Jackfruits have the same pulp around the seeds, but are less sweet than quimpedak. Jackfruit is also almost perfectly round, lacking the characteristic middle narrowing of cempedak fruit. The pulp is also considered more suitable for dessert dishes than jackfruit.

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For this plant to grow properly, a continuously irrigated environment is necessary. These trees are only found in areas that do not experience a truly dry season. A chempedak tree requires a minimum average rainfall of 50 in. (1,250 mm).

These trees are evergreen and will bear fruit once or twice a year. In addition to its food cultivation function, the chempedak tree is also cultivated for its wood, which is durable and termite resistant. The bark is used in the production of the yellow paint used in the saffron-colored robes of Buddhist monks.

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