June 17, 2011

Buah Salak

Most people in Miri and Kuching are familiar with the "Snake fruit" and many would know that it is a fruit eaten by the Indonesians. However we are not sure it this fruit has been brought over by the Bugis and planted in the soils of Sarawak. Any way by the 80's one can see that this fruit is sold in the Pasar Tani or Tamu of Miri and Kuching.

Today most Sarawakian children have learnt to enjoy this fruit but not all have an understanding of this fruit.

So you might have gathered that the Salak fruit is indigenous to and has been cultivated throughout Indonesia, and there are at least 30 cultivars, most of which have an astringent taste and are sweet. Two popular cultivars are salak pondoh from Yogyakarta province (found in 1980s) and salak Bali from Bali island.(Wikipedia)

I think the variety Salak pondoh is the type we get in Sarawak. When I first ate the fruit many years ago I felt that it was an unusual type of fruit, rather tart and a little sticky because of the sap. It is an acquired taste. Needless to say I have liked it ever since and often buy a lot of the fruit as a gift for friends in Sibu and Miri when it is in season.

The point I want to bring up is that many people are not "adventurous" in their eating. For example many people would not even try to eat this fruit when offered. Is it the unfamiliarity? Or it is lack of introduction?

They would just shrug and say "I don't eat this kind of fruit." Some even grimace or make a snort!

This could be taken negatively by the person who offers the fruit (or any other fruit)

Is this some kind of discrimination? or is it just personality?

Buah Salak sold in the side stalls in Batu Niah

Buah Salak sold by Malay ladies (many of them are actually Indonesians)

I think when we are offered a foreign or exotic food item or a fruit that we just need to be gracious and kind to the "offerer" or host.

Accept the food with a nice smile graciously and give the offered food a small bite. Even if you are not in the same level as Andrew Zimmerman (AFC Bizarre Food)you can always give yourself a chance to try out something new. Ian Wright (TLC) has shown us his humourous side when receiving some exotic food.

A little courtesy goes a long way...especially when you are offered a nasty looking fruit like the Buah Salak....


Daniel Yiek said...

Snake fruit


Anonymous said...

Dear Daniel...nice to hear from you....


Ah Ngao said...

higher percentage to personality - " sing lee chuok kuai " i like it as Ulam !

Ann said...

I can't eat sour fruits any more. I remember the Sarawak Rattan fruit were very sour. The Indonesian ones are rather bland.

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