Burmese grape named in English and in Bengali it's widely called 'latKan'. Scientific name is Baccaurea ramiflora. But it has some more Bengali native names like: 'Harfata', 'Dubi', 'Bubi', 'Kanaiju', 'Latka', 'Latkau' etc. There are much more native names differ from district to district. The fruit is from an evergreen plant. All around the South Asia it's growing as a wild type fruit. But commercial cultivation is seen only in Bangladesh, India (in some part), Malaysia and Thailand.
The tree grows usually 9-12 meters long, shortened trunk and has subtropical like bush on the top. Wood from tree is low quality. Generally they grow well in place, where shadow is common. Male and female plants are different than each-other; got different type yellow flowers and both flowers have lovely fragrances. This yellowish and round shaped fruit is full of taste, nutrition and medicinal properties.
Fruits' size is from 3 - 5 cm and grows as bunch, contains 2-5 seeds inside; which have juicy flesh and the main edible part. During rainy season it's pretty much available in our country and favorite to almost everyone. It is very much rich in nutritional value. Though once it was not considerate as valuable fruit among the people. Even many of us don't know this fruit.
But nowadays it becomes worthy and favorite fruit, especially in the urban areas. Burmese grape is no longer a silly fruit now, as many of its nutritional, medicinal qualities have revealed. And it's not only the well known fruit, but also been the necessary fruit of our menu. Soil condition and weather are very suitable for its production in Bangladesh. This sweet-sour fruit is eaten direct and also can be consumed made by various tastes of jam.
I already mention that Burmese grape's tastes are sweet-sour to test. And it actually depends on the type of soil and on the race of the fruit. Both are available in the country. But the sweeter taste's is much demanded. Among the districts of Bangladesh, Narshingdi is in the top position of Burmese grape cultivation. Especially the western-north portion of the district has higher red soil area, where the perfect combination of calcium and other minerals confirm the well growth of Burmese grape. And it's true that other district's Burmese grapes are not so sweeter and larger like Narshingdi.
Nutritional value of Burmese grape
* There are lots of different types of vitamins in this fruit. Among them Vitamin C is in the first position. Plenty of Vitamin C is available in Burmese grape. Interesting thing is daily 2-3 pieces of seasonal Burmese grape can fulfill the demand of Vitamin C for our good health. Besides its rich in Monounsaturated Fat, Protein, Iron and minerals are available in this fruit.
* Per 100 gm Burmese grape has 10.4 mg Vitamin B-1 and 0.20 mg Vitamin B-2. Noteworthy that per 100 gm Burmese fruit has 92 kilocalories energy, which is just double than mighty Jackfruit.
* This sweet-sour fruit is wealthy in Amino acids and enzymes, which work for building our body-cells and tissues. And these are much useful for our immune system.
Medicinal merits of Burmese grape
* While occurs Burmese grape can give protection against nausea.
* This fruit has ability to work as allay thirst.
* Dermatitis is removed from the leaves of the latex of its tree bark and leaves.
* Burmese grape's dried leaves' powder is alleviative to Diarrhea.
* It's seed's latex is also used as a medicine for gonorrhea.
* Those who suffer from severe stomach disorders or frequent fever, can find cure by consuming leaves and roots of Burmese grape.
Burmese grape is works as the taste booster. It's much regarded to children and women. Having too much of this fruit can kill our usual hunger tendency.
The writer is a Sub-Editor (Feature) of The Asian Age
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