I first tried this over 10 years ago on my second trip to Thailand. At a friend’s home and they offered it. I was nervous about picking it up because of the “spines” actual they are very soft.
You peel open the soft skin and a soft fruit is inside. Sweet and I think taste little like a grape.
There is a seed inside that I throw away.
The fruit is a round to oval single-seededberry, 3–6 cm (rarely to 8 cm) long and 3–4 cm broad, borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10–20 together. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name, which means ‘hairs’. The fruit flesh, which is actually the aril, is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor very reminiscent of grapes.
The single seed is glossy brown, 1–1.3 cm, with a white basal scar. Soft and containing equal portions of saturated and unsaturated fats, the seeds may be cooked and eaten. The peeled fruits can be eaten raw, or cooked and eaten: first, the grape-like fleshy aril, then the nutty seed, with no waste.