Kaliasem : Exotic Fruit of Bali

The dark purple, spherical-shaped fruit, which looks like a big, dark cherry is well known in Bali as Kaliasem, and Gowok in Indonesian. There is no English equivalent for this fruit. It comes in stalk just like cherry and very sweet. You do not need to peel this fruit when you eat it but mind, you can not eat the seed, which is large and shaped like lima bean.

This fruit has white flesh with reddish tinge and usually ripe in November. The Kaliasem tree is tall and make a good shade tree. In my childhood days Kaliasem tree was usually grown wild on the on the river banks or in the backyards. But nowadays it is hard to find a Kaliasem tree in South Bali but in East Bali especially in Karangasem regency.

Kaliasem tree is planted among the snake fruit to acts as a shade tree for the snake fruit plant. Sibetan village in Karangasem regency which is well known for its snake fruit is the only place I know where Kaliasem is planted, tended and the fruit is sold to the market as a side product of Snake fruit plantation.

Kaliasem is usually used as basic material for rujak, a mixture of many kinds of fruits such as Mangosteens, pineapple, kaliasem, etc combined with hot spicy sauce. A favorite food of Balinese girls and women.

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