Kitchen Tips

Getting to Know Santol Fruit

Native to the Indochina region, santol is a fruit that is commonly cultivated in India, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries.

Santol comes in two varieties: a yellow variety and a red one. However, the only major distinction between the two varieties is the colour of the fruit itself.

Getting to Know Santol Fruit
Image Courtesy: whologwhy used under the Creative Commons Licence

Santols are like peaches when it comes to size, shape and texture. The skin is thin and easy to peel, and more often than not, it has a reddish tinge. Many cuisines across Asia go so far as to use the skin in salads because the skin is believed to contain several important nutrients.

The santol fruit is popular in Chinese cuisine. The soft pulp is eaten raw, but some restaurants like to serve the fruit as an appetiser. In these places, you will find that your santol comes sprinkled with a variety of authentic Asian spices.

Santol is also used in candies and marmalades, making it a frequent addition to a tea tray, particularly in countries such as China and Malaysia. In Thai cuisine, the fruit is used in its semi-ripe state in the preparation of som tam (a spicy papaya salad).

Some of santol’s claimed health benefits are as follows:

1. Chewing on this fruit for a couple of minutes makes your teeth strong. It also lowers the levels of bacteria in your mouth, reducing the chances of tooth decay.
2. Santols have anti-inflammatory properties.
3. The bark of the santol tree is used in traditional Asian medicine, as it cures fungal infections of the skin.

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