Saturday, March 22, 2008

Belinjo of Singapore

Gnetum gnemon, a nonflowering seed plant and member of the Gnetales. There is only single genus in Gnetales - Gnetum, which are mostly woody climbers in tropical forests. However, the most well-known member of this group, Gnetum gnemon is a tree. Its seeds are used to produce a crispy snack known as emping or keropok belinjo.
This tree is full of staminate inflorescence

The fruits turn red when ripe.

 A bundle of fruits

Common names include, Meninjau (Malay) and Melinjo or Belinjo (Indonesia). These tree can be found planted along Lorong Halus by AVA as shown in photos. Is the fruiting season now, you should be able to find it when you are at Lorong Halus.
There's few ways of preparing the belinjo nuts (or seed):
  1. ground into flour and deepfried as cracker
  2. whole fruit is boiled, dried and then flattened
  3. simply remove the thin skin, flattened it and deep-fried
I guess this explain why some cracker taste bitter perhaps is prepared using method 3??

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