Snake fruit or alimuran is an edible fruit of the rattan
tree that is known to grow in all Philippine islands. It has the scientific name Salacca zalacca
. In the Visayan areas, it is known as kayapi. Rattan is known for it’s application as a durable handicraft material and is used as an export raw materials of the Philippine handicraft industry. It’s fruit is not well known, as the taste is very sour if not properly eaten. Snake fruit is best eaten ripe to get some sweet taste from its soft fruit flesh. It is also better to let the fruit ripen further when it is freshly bought. Eat the fruit 2 to 3 days from date of purchase. Snake fruit can be farmed for the fruits which can be sold at markets and fruit shops. Production guides will boast production and export for the fruits if further developed.
Snake fruit variety is known in Indonesia as salak which is a specie of palm tree native on that part in South East Asia. Fruits are more reddish but the characteristic sour taste remains as compared to alimuran.
Snake fruit salak variety is exported by Indonesia as production is high compared to other neighbor south East Asian countries. The fruit also grows in Malaysia. The tree palm has very short-stemmed and has leaves up to 6 meters in length. Peeling the fruit can be tricky, but pinching the tip will easily remove the bottom skin of the fruit which makes further peeling easier. The flesh inside is white with the brown seeds composed of three lobes. When unpeeled, the snake fruit looks like a three gloved garlic.
Alimuran or snake fruit is best known for its sour taste. It is occasionally served along the 12 fruits of New Year as part of the Filipino tradition of serving 12 rounded fruits during the change of the year. The fruits may be eaten with salt.