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A Kluwek nut is about the size of a chicken egg, though somewhat more irregular in shape. The shell is thin and a dark brown-gray color. Before processing, the nuts are white. Once Kluwek has been processed, it turns dark brown to black and has a paste-like texture with a high oil content. The aroma is smoky, pungent, and woody and the flavor is also smoky and reminiscent of almonds. Kluwek nuts grow on trees that reach up to 200 feet tall. The nuts are produced several times a year once the tree is ten to 15 years old, as long as both male and female trees are present. Up to 40 nuts grow in one single fruit from the tree, which weighs up to 6 or 7 pounds.
Kluwek is available during the late spring through summer.
Kluwek are also known as Pangium nuts, the seeds of the Pangium tree (Pangium edule). Kluwek is the Indonesian name for this food. They are native to Southeast Asia and are featured in traditional foods in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is relatively rare outside of the region. Kluwek is generally harvested wild rather than cultivated. The nuts contain cyanide or prussic acid, and are poisonous until they are boiled, fermented, or otherwise processed, at which point they are perfectly edible.
Raw Kluwek contains poisonous cyanide or prussic acid compounds, which can be eliminated when the Kluwek is boiled or fermented. Kluwek also contains some protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates, along with several types of fatty acids.
Kluwek nuts are usually boiled, then mixed with ashes and banana leaves and buried for a month to 40 days to ferment. If preparing at home, they should be boiled to ensure all toxins are eliminated. Kluwek nuts are featured in a number of traditional foods in Indonesia. On the island of Java, the nuts are used to make picungan, a fermented fish dish, and rawon, a beef curry. In Bali, it is a key ingredient in the condiment called sambal pangi. Immature Kluwek is used in the Indonesian side dish called sayor lodeh. Oil from the Kluwek seed can also be used for cooking instead of coconut oil, though it has a short shelf life.
Kluwek has historically been a more common part of diets in the Southeast Asia region than it is now. The nuts are most commonly used as part of traditional cuisines, but knowledge of how to process Kluwek is slowly declining. Kluwek has been used medicinally as well as for food, to treat wounds, boils, and cuts. The Pangium tree that grows Kluwek nuts has also been culturally important, providing wood for building houses.
Kluwek grows only in Southeast Asia, in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore and the surrounding Pacific region. The trees grow in lowland areas with a warm climate and abundant rainfall.
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Super Indo Cinere
Near Ciputat, Banten, Indonesia
About 30 days ago, 7/14/20
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