Exotic fruit report

Okay, it’s been a while since we had one of these, so it’s time for a report on fruit. First up we have longans:


These don’t seem especially exotic since we could find them in Queens, where they seemed like the boring cousin of lychees. But Harriet goes through an astonishing number of these, and lychees aren’t in season right now. I think longans are going out of season themselves; more often lately you see langsat, which look very similar although the clusters are tighter and the fruit’s a little bigger, kind of like tree-borne potatoes. Langsat turn out to taste very different – more like a grapefruit.

Next up we have snake fruit, or salak:


This is evidently originally from Indonesia; it looks like a cactus, but it’s from a palm tree. It comes in bunches; it has spines. Getting the individual pods out can be a little tricky because the snake fruit quite sensibly does not want to be eaten. They look like this:


If you manage to peel the husk off (starting at the tip makes this a little easier), you’ll find two or three little pods inside:


This is what you eat. It’s a lot of trouble to get this far, and these pods do have a fairly large and inedible pit in them, so this might be a little underwhelming. You can actually buy packaged pods like this, which is probably more sensible. But the fruit’s pleasant with a taste something like a teetotaling rum raisin.

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