A few nights ago, it started with a single little thump on the roof above our bedroom. Not loud at all, but enough to disturb the quiet just before you fall asleep. We have a santol tree that spreads its heavy foliage just over our bedroom, but it seemed way too early for its fruit to start falling off the tree, since most of the fruit are just an inch in diameter and still green… On the second night there were several more “thumps” so I looked around the garden the next day. Turns out the tall and scrawny duhat tree beside our room had a lot of fruit, much of it ripening nicely. Not sure if bats like duhat, but something was causing the fruit to fall on our roof, and it wasn’t just overripe fruit…
This particular tree has never yielded particularly large or abundant fruit before. So we haven’t really paid much attention to it. Well, this year, it is obviously ready for its “debut”, as we managed to harvest some 15 kilos worth of wonderful large fruit that was incredibly sweet when fully ripe. And we couldn’t reach half of the fruit on the upper branches. It’s a bit risky to clamber up this scrawny looking tree, so we decided to harvest just about everything on the lower half of the tree and ended up with three basins full of duhat!
I think duhat is one of those fruits that you either love or hate. The strong tannins in the skin have an astringent, mouth-drying effect (aphud or mapakla) that really turns some folks off, but I have always liked the combination of “pain” with pleasure… :) I wrote about duhat a long time ago, here, here and here, and was always amazed a mention of this fruit triggered fond or not so fond memories from readers all over the world.
The season for duhat doesn’t last more than a few weeks so if you are a fan, get to the markets soon and load up on your duhat fix for the year… the really hot weather a few weeks ago has resulted in a particularly good crop this year — large, sweet and juicy.
P.S. If you like sineguelas, they are in season right now as well.