I bought a box of Balinese salak — snake fruit — as a souvenir for my family in Java.
After returning from holidays, what I ended up gifting my dear relatives — who earlier that year had rearranged their home to accommodate me, who had fed me delicious nourishing meals, who had dropped everything whenever I needed help, who had turned up to every one of my exhibitions, who had answered my many peculiar questions, who were so patient with me when I messed up — was a large hamper of fermented salak.
There are numerous fermented foods in Indonesia and many of them make very special gifts. There is brem (fermented glutinous rice), terasi (fermented shrimp paste), tempe (fermented soy beans), tape singkong (fermented cassava), oncom (fermented peanut press cake), dangke (fermented buffalo milk), pakasam (fermented fish)…
Rotting snake fruit, however, is not a special gift.
Budhe, Pakdhe, maafkan saya jika ada yang kurang,
salak salah atau difermentasi secara sengaja atau tidak sengaja.
Can’t jongkok [squat]