Prior to my trip to Singapore I made a big list of the food items from South East Asia that I hoped beyond hope to find. Whilst I was able to cross off a lot of fish from the list (including Moreton Bay Bug and Barramundi) there were a number of fruit, vegetables and aromatics that I was unable to locate for a host of reasons. Thanks to places like Chinatown and websites like Asian Foodie I have slowly found more and more of these, such as today’s fruit.
Salak, known by various names including snake fruit, is a scaly fruit native to Indonesia. It gets the name ‘snake fruit’ from the dry, bumpy skin which looks and feels like it belongs to a reptile. The skin itself it papery and can be fairly easily be peeled off to reveal a 2-3 white lobed fruit, each lobe containing a large black seed.
The fruit itself looks like it should be soft like a lychee, but it actually has the crunch of an apple or pear. As for the taste, there is a hint of pineapple to it mixed with some sort of vague citrus tang. There is an astringent element to the taste as well, even as the fruit ripens further.
If it wasn’t for the price and the logistics of getting salak, these are something that I would like to have more often. Even if I managed to cut myself on the skin when peeling it. Ouch.