Dabai, Specialty Fruit of Sarawak

Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) is an indigenous seasonal fruit which grows naturally in the wild and can only be found in Borneo Island, especially Sarawak. It is commonly known as ‘Sarawak olive’ due to its resemblance to olives. However, it is not botanically related to the olive family. It is also called ‘Sibu olive’ since it is found in abundance along the along the Rajang River basin, especially in Sibu divisions in Sarawak.

The dabai tree grows upright (up to 20 m), is medium-sized and has large pinnate leaves. With an economic lifespan of about 40 years, mature dabai trees can yield up to 300 kg of dabai fruit per season, which are May – June and December – January depending on the weather pattern. Dabai fruits can fetch premium prices at the beginning of the harvesting season.

The edible dabai fruits is oblong 3-4 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, and has a thin dark purple to black coloured skin. The yellowish flesh (called aril) is 4-7 mm thick and covers a hard angular seed. Fruits of good quality are characterized by big size, thick aril, nutty aroma and fine creamy texture. Continue reading “Dabai, Specialty Fruit of Sarawak”