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Indonesian Fruit Installment 8: Srikaya

Happy 2012 everyone — Selamat Tahun Baru! Another year, and so many new fruits. Here goes:

Srikaya has many names in English including sugar-apple, custard pineapple, sugar pineapple, and sweetsop. The first time I saw a srikaya I thought that it must be some kind of Asian artichoke. And then my mind drifted to thoughts of melted butter and garlic…how wrong I was.

I’d seen the pine-cone like fruit in Jakarta grocery stores wrapped in packs and I always feared committing to a quantity of at least six because what if it was awful? Well, I shouldn’t have been afraid. In Surabaya fruit vendors had tables full of very ripe srikayas for sale. The fruit has a somewhat floral smell that is also reflected in its taste. One vendor let us try one before we bought.

She selected very ripe ones for us that needed to be eaten within 24 hours:

A ripe srikaya, like the one we tried, easily opened in our hands revealing the white fruit clusters. The fruit had a custard-like consistency and had a light sweetness with a floral hint. Watermelon-size rounded seeds were in the middle of each white fruit kernel and it was a bit like eating watermelon — spit out the seeds as you go.

I should have never been afraid of buying this fruit, it’s tasty and I like the way it looks. Here’s to another year full of new fruits and foods!

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