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The name "petai" is attributed to a type of green fruit that grows in very long green pods that remind me of pods from an acacia tree. (Click here to see what a box full of "petai" pods looks like.) Within these pods are green fruits shaped like elliptical disks, or typical pharmacy pills. (Click here to see what individual beans from "petai" pods look like.) This fruit can be eaten raw - but most people prefer it cooked. To me its taste reminds a kind of large bean which in Poland is known as "bean". This fruit belongs to the group of strongly smelly fruits, only that in contrast to, for example, the "durian" fruit, the stench of "petai" begins to be felt only after biting it. (I.e., the fresh fruit as such does NOT seem to stink until you bite it or start cooking it.) The stench of this fruit then permeates the feces and urine of the eater. Therefore, entering a toilet in which someone who previously ate "petai" has just urinated or defecated becomes almost impossible. The fruit also causes a very strong staining of the urine. It is probably for these reasons that folklore claims that the "petai" fruit cleanses the inside of the eater's body completely.
The "petai" fruit is eaten more for medical reasons than because someone really likes it. The reasons for its rampant eating for health are explained in an excellent article [1#F5] on this fruit. The article is titled "Petai power" (i.e. "The power of the petai fruit"). It appeared on pages U6 and U7 in the "Streets" supplement to the Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times, issue of Saturday July 26, 2008. According to this article [1#F5], the petai fruit has a whole bunch of components which are immensely beneficial for human health. For example, this fruit contains as many as three types of energy-generating sugars, i.e. sucrose, fructose and glucose. Thus, it is excellent for athletes, for example. In addition, if you compare it with, for example, an apple, the petai fruit has 4 times more proteins, 2 times more carbohydrates, 3 times more phosphorus, 5 times more vitamin A and iron, and 2 times more other vitamins and minerals.