Each week we pick a word and both base a post off that word. This week’s word is Fruit.
I have been seeing this beautiful fruit called salak fruit all around the markets here in Ubud. The way they look is so inticing to me, I knew I wanted to try some. But it wasn’t until yesterday when a friend offered me one that I actually got a chance. I fell in love with the first bite! It is like a combination of lychee, potato and coconut pulp all in one. When you peel the salak, it looks like snake skin. They are amazing.
Salak (Salacca zalacca) is a species of palm tree (family Arecaceae) native to Indonesia. It is a very short-stemmed palm, with leaves up to 6 metres (20 ft) long; each leaf has a 2-metre long petiole with spines up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, and numerous leaflets.
The fruit grow in clusters at the base of the palm, and are also known as snake fruit due to the reddish-brown scaly skin. They are about the size and shape of a ripe fig, with a distinct tip. The pulp is edible. The fruit can be peeled by pinching the tip, which should cause the skin to slough off so it can be pulled away. The fruit inside consists of three lobes, each containing a large inedible seed. The lobes resemble, and have the consistency of, large peeled garlic cloves. The taste is usually sweet and acidic, but its apple-like texture can vary from very dry and crumbly (salak pondoh from Yogyakarta) to moist and crunchy (salak Bali).
Can one bad apple spoil the bunch? I was home cleaning a couple of nights ago and decided to play a few random episodes from the This American Life archive. The episode I stumbled upon first is called, “Ruining It for the Rest of Us”. It’s prologue told the story of a research experiment studying how one bad apple can affect a work environment.
The researchers found that not only was a bad worker unhelpful to the group but that once a jerk, slacker or depressive was introduced into the environment, the other group members quickly began to demonstrate the same bad behaviors. Tricky trick.
You can listen to the whole episode, or just he prologue here.
*Image of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory via here.