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Painfully sour!

June 9, 2011

The snake fruit, Salacca zalacca (‘sala’ in central Thai), is a highly praised fruit from a palm tree. It tastes like arrack and is one of my favourite fruits, and so we grow it at Dokmai Garden, providing plenty of water. When you go to a Thai market, you should look out for its ‘evil twin’: Salacca wallichiana (‘rakam’ in Thai). To my taste it is painfully sour, and mostly appreciated in the south of Thailand. Try it if you dare!

In the middle you see a roundish and brightly orange fruit – the evil twin ‘rakam’ (Salacca wallichiana)! It is surrounded by delicious and darker and more elongated snake fruits (Salacca zalacca, Arecaceae). Photo from Krabi market at the end of March.

Eric Danell

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