My first encounter with the salak, or snake fruit, a native to Java and Sumatra, Indonesia came while visiting Pura Besakih (pura= temple) in Bali in 2005. As much as I’d like to add a photo from then, my external hard drive suffered a nasty fall, so you can join me in imagining what it was like to come across a…salak vendor…
It gets the nickname snake fruit due to its scaly (and inedible) skin; if you really like snakes, you might be able to convince a purveyor of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) that the salak skin is much more powerful and auspicious.
There are a few cultivars of this fruit of the salacca zalacca palm tree; I’ve tried ones that were crunchy and ones that just fell apart all too easily. Don’t eat the seed, otherwise you might need to have a sip of this to will you back to your feet. Regardless of the texture, the taste to me has always been similar to artificially-flavored lime bubble gum, sometimes more sour, sometimes more sweet.
Want to try some salak but nowhere near the Equator? These folks might be of service.
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