People always ask me if I ever left Shanghai, what would I miss. That one is easy , I love the variety of fresh fruit available here. Bananas and apples are fine but there isn’t anything in the northeast United States that can compare with the seasonal fruits in Shanghai, especially at this time of the year.The lychees, rambutan, Dragon eye, mangos and mangosteens turning up in the market these days are delightful to eat and chock full of nutrition.
One of the guiding principles here at EWS is that eating a variety of food is more nutritious and more fun, so in the interest of trying something new and fun, I ordered some Indonesian snake fruit or salak. I have to admit I was most intrigued by the look of the fruit. The peel really does look like brown snake skin.
I think this fruit would be really fun to show to children, especially those interested in reptiles and dinosaurs. It has a prehistoric feel to it.
The fruit , or pod, is about the size and shape of a fresh fig. It is a very firm, I would even say hard fruit. It can be peeled by pinching the pointy end and removing the skin. You can also just make a small cut and start peeling. I found that once you had a piece of the skin removed the rest came off pretty easily.
The fruit inside is the texture and color of peeled garlic. The mild citrus flavor and firm flesh make it a nice addition to a fruit salad. The flavor is a bit bland to eat by itself so I suggest serving it with other fruit and cheese.
Snake fruit is from the palm family and has traditionally been used in Indonesia to treat diarrhea. The fruit has a good amount of vitamin C, some iron and a variety of flavonoids which are quite helpful in promoting a healthy immune system.
I am not sure snake fruit will be a regular on the table but it made a very interesting snack and reminded me that there is whole lot more food out there taste!
Snake fruit is available from Kate and Kimi (www.kateandkimi.com)
Looking for something exotic? Check out the Jiashan weekend market this Saturday from a 11am-4 pm. Down the alley at #37 Lane 550 Shaanxi Lu near Shaoxing Lu.
Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!