Litsea garciae (Bintang)
The engkala is an unusual fruit, looking more like an unripe pink eggplant with its large stem cap. It actually belongs to the Lauraceae, the same family as the avocado and the bay tree. Engkala fruits seem more than strange. Eating directions for ripe fruits are: beat them with a spoon, soak them in warm water, roll them, then remove the cap and eat the entire fruit, skin and all, with a pinch of salt. They are delicious! The fruit flesh bears superficial resemblance to the avocado, creamy and nutty, but in addition, it has a slight tang. The fruits are quite perishable if improperly handled, but with care, they could certainly become a market commodity for their exquisite taste. There are two recognized varieties in Borneo. This form, known as bintang on this island of Borneo, is slightly smaller, more intense pink-fuschia color when ripe and reputed to be tastier.