What an amazing fruit. Not one that I’ve heard of roaming Thailand and talking to locals or tourists. I love tropical fruit and learned about santol ‘kraton’ from reading. I had to go and find one and the next time I was in Thailand I immediately gotten into a scanning mode. It didn’t take long until I spotted my first santol. The street vendor sliced it placed it in a plastic bag and complemented with a blend of sugar, salt and chili.
Under the thin peel was a thick rind and at the core was the pulp engulfing large seeds. It was like BOGO (buy one, get one) as both the rind and the pulp are edible and tend to be sweet and sour, although they each have distinct textures and flavors and the rind is mildly astringent. The seeds aren’t edible. I absolutely loved it and gulped the thing with sensational pleasure.
Santol is a tropical tree, originally from the area of Malaysia and possibly southern Thailand. The tree can reach 150 ft, 50 m in height. The fruits are picked by hand or using long rods.
Santol is eaten fresh as a fruit, as a dessert and also in curries like ‘Gaeng Kraton’. One of my favorite salads is ‘Yum Kraton‘ an irresistible mortar and pestle made salad of santol with sweet, salty spicy and tangy flavors.
I learned from reading that in the past before hybridization, the fruit in Thailand was not particularly appealing, but that has changed, apparently.