The Curious Case of Buah Mentega

Never before has a fruit caused so much debate and controversy in my family.

Unripe, but edible

I got this fruit, ‘Buah Mentega’ (Butter fruit) I was told by the seller at the Tutong Tamu, and tootled back home. When I presented my gatherings to my mum, and told her what it was, she flatly said ‘NO, that’s not buah mentega’. (In cakap Tutong plg tu). Okaaaay I said.

Later that evening, my older brother tried and liked it, and agreed it wasn’t Buah mentega. ‘Buah Mentega’ apparently is the local avocado. Then came my sister who couldn’t care less what it was called but quietly finished a whole fruit- none the wiser after she had done so.

Dad disagreed with both mum and yours truly and said it’s called something else (I forget) and argued it’s a wild jungle fruit. So there you go. I waited 5 minutes to see if the fruit would revert to its younger self, as was the case of Benjamin Butang @ Button, but of course it didn’t. It did leave us all utterly curious, confused and bangang nonetheless.

Creamy-crumbly texture

Heart-shaped halves

Seeds akin to Durian-pulu seeds

Lemme describe the taste and texture of this fruit. The flesh is light orange, slightly sweet, and the texture appears to be a cross between that of the avocado, chiku, persimon, except it’s ‘sticky’ in the mouth, much like cream cheese. Actually, it does taste like chiku and persimon somewhat. In short, it’s a very interesting fruit indeed.

But if indeed this is “Butter fruit”, perhaps it should be eaten with the “Bread fruit”.


28 responses

  1. looks like Pouteria lucuma, which is also called lucuma or eggfruit. Did the yellow part have kind of an egg-yolk texture? Smooth but also just a tiny bit grainy?

  2. YES! egg-yolky texture, colour… (i think i said it was somewhat soft-cheesy kind of~). You’re right Treefrog (cool nick btw!). Thanks for the education ~ I love Pouteria Lucuma..! So ALL of us were wrong then huh! hehe

  3. Got it from Tamu Tutong arah one particular stall dapan stall si Laki(?), right opposite. I’ll get you some kalau ada. Jadi barter trade macam zaman purbakala, Lucuma for Ayam Penyet Tg Nangka. Nanti Jay dtg bawa ia kesana. inda jua ia teconference ni karang si jay ani.

  4. Deal! Text me when ada, and I will come by with delicious savoury offering of Ayam Penyet.

    BTW, if bawa J sana, the place atu for takeaway saja jua, I´m not sure if it´s ok for dine-in. Selalu panuh with Indon workers.

  5. Hi Ziana. Hmm That’s interesting. R u and ur fren from Malaysia? Just wondering… I bet it’s got other names but Lucuma seems to be the scientific name for it.

  6. u can find this fruit in a tree nearby the deer enclosure in zoo negara. next to the tree there’s a stick u can use to pick it.
    i asked one zoo staff there and he said i can pick it.

  7. Hi Marcel. Zoo negara in KL? I’ve never been there. But when I get there, I’ll make sure to jolok buah tu. Betul ke they actually let you pick the fruit? That’s quite surprising though. But i suppose it’s safe in the deer enclosure, and it’s not the tiger area.

  8. Treefrog above is right. It is eggfruit, buah kuning telor, an exotic from the American tropics.In South India and in Sri Lanka they were planted by Buddhist monks around monasteries for their high protein value.They are in the same genera with Mammey sapote and Abiu.

  9. Oh thanks for the clarification, Frank! I really write about foods and fruit I just know how to eat, but don’t really know much about!

  10. Hi Azlin, I got this fruit at our local fruit market in Tutong, Brunei. It’s not available all the time, but is probably seasonal. Fruit season is usually July-Sept each year, though this fruit isn’t particularly typical around here. See Treefrog’s (first) comment here, and google Lucuma for more info. Treefrog is probably right about its name 🙂

  11. Thanks August 13th…wow, in brunei y so far!!!..but last time in 2007 I went to Sabah and bought some in the local pasar almost 4 yrs ….is anybody coming back from brunei or sabah that i can kirim?..hehehehe just asking.. 🙂

  12. avocado also some folks here in kl said ‘buah mentega’…but the one that Mr peace ‘s link from the berita harian i have not eaten also called buah mentega @ Diospyros blancoi..maybe in different states they called buah mentega but only not the same fruit..just the name..hehehe..but what ever..i like the the buah mentega @ Pouteria lucuma coz i’ve tasted an luvvv in it!.

  13. Azlin- thanks for your comment. Sorry, I’ve been busy lately, tak terbalas pulak ur comments. Memang sedap buah ni! I dont think buah ni exclusively ada kat Brunei, perhaps it’s seasonal only. This year our fruit season has been bad, I haven’t even had my yellow durian yet! it’s been raining so bad this year.

    Anonymous – thanks for the info. Where are you from though? Malaysia? which part? (tak patut la from Brazil kot? haha)

  14. hmm…buah seralat/seghalat@ buah mentega the one anonymous said is something like this right?…

    well….which is TOTALLY different frm the pix that August13 pasted here.

    the skin of buah seralat its kinda velvety like buah sentul….while buah mentega@Pouteria lucuma is like manggo skin and its not red in colour when its ripe but yellowish.

    the shape also manggosteen..kan???…. while buah mentega@Pouteria lucuma..shape like slightly round-oval….

    one more thing..when its ripe (buah mentega@Pouteria)..its kinda easy to break into two no need to cut with knife…and the texture is so soft like the kuning telur rebus…but the taste is much better than the kuning telor la…hehehe

    the more am thingking about it the more am craving! hahahahaha

    so anybody…??..can post it to me?… damn serious!..qiqiqiqi

  15. Nutrition

    Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, while heavy metal content is low, according to the Ministry of Agriculture in Nanning, China. Lucuma powder contains 329 calories per 100 g. Per 100 g, it contains 87 g of carbohydrates, 2.3 g of fiber, 4 g of protein and 2.4 g of total fat content. It also has 92 mg of calcium per 100 g to keep your bones and teeth strong. Phosphorus is important for bone and protein formation, digestion and hormone balance; lucuma provides 186 mg per 100 g. According to My Fitness Pal, 1 tbsp. of lucuma provides 2 percent of the recommended daily value for iron, which may help stimulate the immune system and improve physical endurance.
    Health Benefits

    Lucuma has been used for centuries in South America for its medicinal properties. The State University of New Jersey reported a study that evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of lucuma extract on wound healing and skin aging. Results of the trial determined that lucuma significantly increased wound closure and promoted tissue regeneration. The report of the study concluded that lucuma may have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin-repair effects on human skin.

    Read more:

  16. i first saw this fruit last december at Tamu Belait. the seller told me its buah mentega and that he got his supply from Sabah. I tried making it into fritters but it was too “lemak” so i crushed (?) them and fried them like cekodok…. my kids loved em. But they’re really hard to get laaaa…….

  17. haii August 13. just read this after lecturing my bandar friends all about rare fruits which i know since kecik2. But this one totally unknown for me. did anyone know where to get this buah in semenajung?

  18. That is not buah mentega for sure. It is kenestal. When green and unripe on the tree they look very much like the mango tree. I hv come across the trees at tenom agriculture park…and also a tree in melaka at my former staff’s house.

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