The Grocer: Salak
Habitually branded as snake fruit, thanks to its gleaming scaly exterior, salak is a tropical fruit native to Indonesia.
Fortunately, the reptilian characteristics end at the salak’s skin, and its encased flesh greets your tastebuds with an unexpected sweetness. Slightly crunchy – similar to the texture of a pear – this fig-shaped drupe’s interior tastes much like a lychee crossed with a pineapple.
The salak prefers to reside in humid, tropical and sub-tropical climates – akin to its homeland of Indonesia – which means it grows well in Queensland and its bordering regions. Local growers of the salak’s palm-like plant include Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm in North Queensland and Daleys Nursery Australia in Kyogle, northern New South Wales. To enjoy salak, simply remove its snaky shell and tuck in to the inner fruit – just be careful not to bite into its large inedible seed that you’ll soon find hidden inside.
Like all good fruits, salak contains vitamin C – but it also carries a rich bounty of proteins, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, beta-carotene and thiamine. Salak has been used as a digestive aid, as well as in the treatment of eye care, and to relieve heartburn when mixed with a little honey.
The tropical flavours of salak fruits render them perfect for smoothies, fruit salads, and for flavouring syrups. You might also like to try pickling a bag of salak fruits or adding them to some raw energy balls.
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