Thursday, September 01, 2011

name the fruit: part two

Papaya, pineapple, mango, green skinned oranges, watermelon, jackfruit, durian, mangosteen, water apple – so many fruits, so little time.

The second mystery fruit came our way in the north of Bali. At a small market in Lovina a stallholder thrust one each into our hands, demonstrating how to remove the skin. For the next week, it became a staple.

Mystery fruit #2 has a thin but robust skin, oddly reptilian in nature. Inside is a pale yellow fruit, segmented into lobes with a seed in the centre of each. The texture is pleasantly crisp. The flavour has a hint of pineapple.

This is the fruit of a palm, one of the many exotic plants we saw growing in a trek through Munduk.

Can you name the fruit?

Taken at Ubud Market (note the piece of palm tree)

Update: As Michelle and Katherine rightly guessed, this is salak. AKA snake (or snakeskin) fruit. The texture of the skin gives the name away. It's quite extraordinary. This species is undoubtedly Salak Bali (

Salak fans, have you ever cooked with it or just eat it raw, as is?

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Blogger Michelle Chin said...

buah salak. i tried it when i was in bali too. it's a little green-ish if it's slightly on the unripe side. maybe rubbery too.

if ripe, it has this mild sweetness with a kiss of acidity. a little like lychee crossed with rambutan.

1:15 pm  
Blogger Katherine said...

Yes Salak, very nice and a real Bali thing. I have seen them in other Asian countries as a speciality but they are native to Indonesia and best in Bali. I have been told they give you a stomach ache if you eat too many. I love them and always look for them when I am in Bali

7:07 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Michelle and Katherine you're correct of course :)

Michelle, not sure if I could taste the lychee/rambutan in Salak Bali, maybe the species grown in other parts of Indonesia do?

Katherine, I suspect any fruit gives you a stomache ache when you eat too much :)

I liked salak but wouldn't go nuts for it. Now if you're talking rambutan...that's another story.

8:05 am  
Anonymous Phil Lees said...

It's also pretty popular in Cambodia (it's called "oursoka" there) - I always thought that they tasted like a slightly nuttier green papaya. When they get older, the fruit inside gets dry and a little crumbly.

Traditionally (as far as I know) people don't cook with it. David Thompson had it on his menu at Nahm, soaked in a sweet syrup and served alongside a coconut dumpling

10:50 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Phil, that's fascinating. What I liked most about salak was the texture which was crisp without being dry, as well as the hint of pineapple. I suspect the ones we were eating in the North were very fresh, as we could see them growing nearby. It's hard not to like any fruit this fresh but I suspected the old, imported variety would taste lack lustre like an apple thats spent an entire season in cool storage. Of course now you've mentioned it I want Thompson's syrup soaked salak with dumplings *sigh*.

9:33 am  

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