Betel palms are recognized by their slim, gray trunk and the hanging tufts of nuts near the top. Frequent chewers have vivid red lips and black teeth. The fruit contains a fibrous husk and an acorn-shaped seed rich in tannin and red dye.
To make a betel nut quid, you split a green nut, sprinkle it with lime, wrap it in a leaf of betel pepper, and place it in your mouth. As you chew, saliva mixes with the quid to generate a red juice that you spit out. While it’s an acquired taste, devotees find betel nut refreshing and mildly stimulating.