OriginNative to Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia.
DescriptionFast-growing tropical tree with multiple trunks with feathery leaves, petioles, and the axes of which are covered with spines and clusters of red-brown fruit, with snake-like scaly, skin, grow directly above the ground at the base of the trunk.
Growth HabitatGrows in tropical regions.
FoliageLeaves pinnate, 3-7 m long; leaf-sheaths, petioles and leaflets armed with numerous, long, thin, gray to blackish spines; leaflets 20-70 cm x 2-7.5 cm.
FlowersMale inflorescences are 50-100 cm long, consisting of 4-12 spadices, each 7-15 cm x 0.7-2 cm. Female ones are 20-30 cm long, composed of 1-3 spadices, 7-10 cm long. A spadix is a single leaf-like petal surrounding a fleshly stem covered with numerous, small flowers.
FruitsSalak are about the size and shape of a ripe fig, with a distinct tip. The pulp is edible. The fruit inside consists of three white lobes that resemble large, peeled garlic cloves with the largest of the three containing a large inedible seed. The taste is usually sweet and acidic, but its apple-like texture can vary from very dry and crumbly to moist and crunchy. It is quite sweet when fully ripe, but unripe fruit is sour and astringent due to the presence of a little tannic acid.
Harvest Fruits are harvested by cutting the brunches with a reaping hook. Fruits can be picked before they are fully ripe and can be stored in baskets from 2 days to one week. Bruised fruit can spoil easily.
SoilSalak thrives under humid tropical lowland conditions. Because of its superficial root system, the palm requires a high water table, rain or irrigation during most of the year, but it does not stand flooding.
PruningWeeding is necessary before the leaf canopy is closed. Basal suckers are usually cut out in order not to lower the fruit yield of the mother palm.
FertilizationFertilize with farmyard manure as well as urea. Triple superphosphate and potassium muriate has been found beneficial. Fertilizing may negatively or positively influence fruit taste. Exclusive use of urea is said to produce large but perishable fruits, and also to cause strong vegetative growth that increases the risk of the palms toppling over.
PropagationSeeds are sown directly in the field (2-5 seeds together in 5 cm deep holes) or in nursery beds. The seedlings are planted out in the field during the rainy season when they are a few months old. Seed kernels taken directly from the fresh fruit germinate readily in less than a week under moist, shady conditions, even on top of the soil.
Salak mostly contains carbohydrates, with trace amounts of sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
Health BenefitsGood for Brain - Salak is a fruit rich in potassium and pectin, which is good for brain. This is why people call salak a Memory Fruit.

Good for Eyes - Salak also proved beneficial for eye health. It contains more beta-carotene than guava, mango, watermelon, and carrots. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is very beneficial for eye health.

Good for Stomach - Salak contains calcium, tannin, saponin, flavonoid and beta-carotene that have many health benefits. The tannin in salak makes it astringent therefore anti diarrhea. Salak also treats stomach indigestion. Suggestion: it is better to eat salak with its epidermis, which can prevent constipation.

Good for Skin - Salak is a good source of dietary antioxidants such as Vitamin-C and phenolic compounds.
Commercial UsesSold fresh, canned, pickled or candied. The bark of the petioles may be used for matting. The leaflets are used for thatching.
Food SuggestionPickled Salak

Ingredients (5 servings):
- 650 g fresh salak (or snake fruit), peeled (remove the transparent membrane from the fruit)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp fruit seasoning salt (bumbu semboi) or substitute with asam powder
- 2 litres water

1.Boil water and salt in a stockpot.
2.Add salak fruit into boiling water. Let boil for 2 minutes.
3.Turn off heat and cover, for 5 minutes.
4.Drain water off.
5.Combine sugar and seasoning salt into the pot.
6.Mix well. Serve warm or cold.
7.Keeps up to 3 days in refrigerator.


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