The taste: Before we talk about taste, let's talk about texture, which is the most interesting bit of this fruit. It's spiky! At first touch, you may recoil like accidentally grazing a cactus, but the spines aren't hard enough to pierce your skin; they just make it a little more difficult to get a good grip on the fruit.
We made a shallow cut through the skin from top to tail, and easily peeled back the scalyness to reveal the fruit inside. It's juicier than you'd expect, and there's a pit hidden in each lobe. We're thinking those allergic to stone fruits will also find themselves allergic to Salak as well. It reminded us of garlic in appearance, but green apple with an acidic mustyness in taste (if that makes any sense). It was something completely new for our tastebuds, for sure.
Price: We paid 7 THB for two of them. That roughly equals a very, very affordable $0.23.
Where to find it: The fruit stands of Thailand are veritable cornucopias of exotic pickings, thus it shouldn't take too much searching to locate Salacca in a market. Just make sure you're asking for "Sala" in Thailand, and "Salacca" or "Salak" mostly everywhere else. We scored these two from a normal grocery store in the lower level of the Central Festival Phuket Mall outside Phuket's old town.
If you'd like to share some of your foreign grocery finds, we'd love love love to see them. Send 'em on over via email here and snack on, my friends.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]