HLB Specialties, a Pompano Beach, FL-based supplier of tropical produce items, is now shipping rambutans from Guatemala.
The company is offering the product in a masterbox of 12 3.8-ounce clamshells with four pieces of fruit to a clamshell. Also available are one-pound clamshells and a five-pound bulk box.
According to the company, the rambutans come from the largest and oldest grower in Guatemala and are not irradiated. Additionally, the Guatemalan fruit is larger in size than fruit from Asia and has a deeper red color. The season begins in May and runs through November.
"This is our second season shipping rambutans from Guatemala," said Melissa Hartmann de Barros of HLB. "Last year we supplied a major health food retailer in Florida as well as wholesalers on the East Coast and in the Midwest."
Hartmann de Barros said that the fruit is juicy and sweet, similar to a lychee. It is light and healthy, making it great for snacking, she added.
She added that the unusual appearance of the fruit — bright red with spiky hairs on the outside — makes it a great foodservice item and is especially appealing to kids.
"One of our wholesalers bought the fruit in bulk and supplied a school during Halloween, which was an extra 'spooky' treat for the kids," she said. "They loved it."
Hartmann de Barros said weekly shipments of Guatemalan rambutans are arriving in Los Angeles and Pompano Beach, FL, directly from the farms in Guatemala. Shipping can be expanded to HLB's other facilities in Seattle and San Francisco, or flown to most major airports for pick up.
The fruit is shipped under the "HLB" brand, and clamshells carry a barcode and eating and handling instructions. For more information, visit www.hlbspecialties.com/rambutan-fruit.