07 May2012

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.



  1. Grace says:

    I love duhat, seneguelas and mango! Those are my summertime favorite fruits growing up in the Philippines! Thank you MM for sharing those lovely photos of duhat

    May 7, 2012 | 5:25 am


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  3. Berto and Kwala says:

    I remember eating duhat when I was a young kid. I can’t remember the taste though, all I can remember are stern warnings not to get its juices on my clothing because they will stain… =)

    May 7, 2012 | 5:53 am

  4. borckx says:

    Those are pretty looking lomboy. And they always bring back childhood memories. Must heed your advice and head to the market soon. :)

    May 7, 2012 | 6:04 am

  5. marilen says:

    Memories indeed!! I have not had duhat (lomboy) in decades – never in season on occasional visits back home. The photos are just delectable, MM. The closest substitute I have had over here are Rainier cherries, delicious to be sure, but does not bring back all those childhood memories – ripe duhat shaken with sea salt (bahul nga asin) until the bruised fruit elicits sweet-salty in the mouth. Thanks, MM, it is always a given that whatever you post (from your perpetual, curious mind, be it on food, flora and fauna, travel and occasional fish pans!) we love that you share with us.

    May 7, 2012 | 6:07 am

  6. marilen says:

    BTW, how long before your duhat tree got to bear fruit??

    May 7, 2012 | 6:10 am

  7. cora says:

    I remember eating duhat mixed with salt and shake them altogether. Ahhh, memories of childhhood years! Sinenguelas reminds me of Antipolo and the cashews. I love the santol too, in my father’s hometown they make great sinantulan….missing those fruits!

    May 7, 2012 | 7:47 am

  8. Jeff says:

    Love shaking it in a container with salt! The best summer fruit for me! Very nostalgic!

    May 7, 2012 | 7:55 am

  9. andrea says:

    true! i enjoyed plenty of sineguelas, duhat and camachile last weekend! one of the reasons why i love summer!

    May 7, 2012 | 8:15 am

  10. PITS, MANILA says:

    I remember we had a duhat tree decades and decades ago in our garden. It was a ‘skinny’ tree. The trunk and branches were thin, and there were just a few leaves. The tree looked malnourished enough for me, but when summer comes, it bears fruit — large elongated ones at that. We’d pick the fruits, rinse them in water, place them in a large bowl, sprinkle them with salt, cover the bowl with a large plate, and shake them to death before eating them. And always, always … the usual ignored warning about stains … “Mancha yan, ah!”.

    May 7, 2012 | 8:23 am

  11. khrishyne says:

    lumboy, yumyum…

    May 7, 2012 | 8:38 am

  12. Skye says:

    Haven’t eaten it in a long time.

    There is a tree at the Benguet Bldg (na ngayon wala na at open parking na for SM Megamall) in Ortigas Center. The sidewalk had violet spots underneath it because of the fruits that fell off.

    May 7, 2012 | 8:39 am

  13. Laura says:

    They look so plump and juicy! My late mother used to make duhat jelly and I remember it had a beautiful purple color with a gelatine-like consistency. I think your excess duhat harvest is just perfect for the jelly.

    May 7, 2012 | 8:53 am

  14. britelite says:

    I saw how duhats are harvested—you get this net–people hold the net which is situated around the tree (uncut–so its really long) then somebody shakes the tree full of ripe fruits–and voila you have them all falling to the net–the harvest process alone is lovely!

    May 7, 2012 | 8:59 am

  15. Cecile says:

    Duhat fruits are one of my most awaited fruits in summer while growing up in Ilocos. I can still remember the sweet succulent duhat fruits i’ve tasted. The memory of eating duhat comes with the memory of laughter as we walk through dirt roads towards duhat grooves. We would climb the duhat trees and pick the fruits, we would eat our hoard by the river and end it by swimming in the cold fresh water of the river. :) hay naaalala ko pa ang tunog ng tubig habang lumalangoy ako sa ilalim at ang lamig (mula sa mga bundok ng Cordillera) nito na mga adventuresome na bata lang ang makakakaya. :)

    May 7, 2012 | 8:59 am

  16. Lojet says:

    Note to self….forget the heat, go home in May!

    May 7, 2012 | 9:14 am

  17. besYS says:

    I always associate Duhat to my Father, who would just flicked his fingers with those seeds on the ground and Voila! – 3 Duhat trees! (he was also the one responsible for our Guava, Coconut, Langka trees and so much more! Oh yes, a man with a green thumb!)
    I just love Duhat, and I would always remember all those summer fruits with a smile on my face ;-) Too bad there’s no duhat in the U.S.
    Thanks MM for sharing your good harvest to us!

    May 7, 2012 | 9:23 am

  18. Ellen says:

    Wow! This brings back wonderful childhood memories of carefree summers.

    May 7, 2012 | 9:26 am

  19. millet says:

    never cared much for duhat before, but that’s probably because i’ve never had them “incredibly sweet”. Time to take out the covered bowl and rock salt. Not making jam, MM?

    May 7, 2012 | 10:10 am

  20. yette says:

    Ripe duhat brings back the memories of a bygone era. One of my older cousins would climb a tree on our Lola’s home and shake the branches with gusto so that the ripe fruits would fall off. The younger ones, including me (He! he! he!) would then clamor and collect the fallen fruits.

    We would then have it shaken with rock salt. The resulting mixture is a match made in heaven. The salty sweetness of the fruit, bonding time and unending laughter with childhood friends. What more can one ask for?

    May 7, 2012 | 10:32 am

  21. christina foss says:

    My mouth was watering as I read your article! I remember shaking the fruit in a box with salt and it was soooo good…..

    May 7, 2012 | 10:41 am

  22. Mari of NY says:

    aaaarrrggghhh!!! Duhat and siniguelas…love them and miss them.

    May 7, 2012 | 10:47 am

  23. Gej says:

    It’s great that you have your own duhat tree. There’s less and less of duhat in the market even during when it’s in season. These are wonderful pictures that capture how the color of the fruit develops from green to this deep violet color.
    I planted duhat in the farm but it did not grow well. It probably thrives in lower altitudes and warmer temperatures.

    May 7, 2012 | 11:27 am

  24. tipat says:

    Because we have a tree in the house that yielded very big fruits, I grew up neglecting this fruit. But now, I love it especially when it’s cold and served with salt. My mom read that this is one of the fruits that is good for diabetics and that they supposedly need not worry about eating too much of it. And yes, the fruits on our tree should be ready for picking anytime soon as well :) Have you ever tried making duhat shake? I wonder what it would taste like….

    May 7, 2012 | 11:38 am

  25. Shirley says:

    Believe or not, we’ve got a really large duhat tree growing in our yard in San Diego. I’ve tasted its fruit and, eh, really don’t care for it. The birds have even neglected most of its fruits. Of course, it’s not laden with fruit but when I see and can reach the ripened ones, I’ll pick and eat. Otherwise, I don’t look for it. I love the ‘black cherry’ color.

    May 7, 2012 | 11:57 am

  26. Limone says:

    Looks like currants…I wonder if it can be fermented or be enhanced with vodka to turn into liquor!

    May 7, 2012 | 12:41 pm

  27. Cecile says:

    @ Sir Gej: Duhat trees abound up at the “plateau” near my hometown, see http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2009/08/mt-simagaysay-1402-traverse-to-mt.html . I heard from my grandparents and other relatives that the duhat fruits sold at the local market are picked from the nearby mountains.

    May 7, 2012 | 5:36 pm

  28. Ynna says:

    Duhat = childhood memories. My cousins and I used to climb duhat trees behind my lolo’s farm in Cebu. We were usually showered with black ants along the way. Being left at the farm for 1 month with my cousins and NO electronics — made really awesome memories. :)

    May 7, 2012 | 7:30 pm

  29. Footloose says:

    Lipote, the seedless close cousin of duhat/lomboy that you just pop in your mouth whole without having to worry about overworking your coated and dyed tongue navigating its way around the pit is more to my lazy liking. The entire fruit is also great turned into jam.

    May 7, 2012 | 7:52 pm

  30. Lalaine says:

    Duhat always bring sweet memories of childhood to me. It was such a thrill gathering them (amidst the summer heat of the afternoon sun, mind you though, it was not as hot and humid those days) shaking them with salt. How I wish I could go back to those innocent days, no worries in the world! And oh, snacks of my childhood were so much healthier compared to what kids are having these days.

    May 7, 2012 | 9:23 pm

  31. Chinky says:

    My parents planted a duh at tree in 1978 when we moved to Alabang. Every summer, it bears large duhat and very sweet when picked just right. Don’t see much of duhat in the markets anymore.

    May 7, 2012 | 9:44 pm

  32. Chinky says:

    Nice photos of the duhat, MM!

    May 7, 2012 | 9:44 pm

  33. Gej says:

    Cecille: Thanks. That’s your hometown? Beautiful! Thanks for the link. The duhat tree I planted has never fruited since I planted it around 4 years ago, and is usually infested with caterpillars. The leaves are usually full of holes. If duhat can grow well in high altitude, then maybe it’s the soil.

    May 7, 2012 | 9:51 pm

  34. 100kpinoy says:

    back in the younger days,

    i love putting plump duhat in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, cover with a plate and shake shake shake it to tenderize the pulp…. then enjoys the treat!

    May 7, 2012 | 10:08 pm

  35. millet says:

    footloose, yes, lipote! i had it in marinduque a long, long time ago, and have been looking for it since. it is more berry than plum, and a lot sweeter than duhat.

    MM, love that slab of wood on which the duhats rest. would that be duhat wood, too? that would make a good cheese/fruit server.

    May 7, 2012 | 10:34 pm

  36. Faust says:

    this lumboy or duhat has been a backyard snack when I was younger.. heheheh

    May 7, 2012 | 11:34 pm

  37. jean says:

    Ditto Jeff’s comment. I adore duhat. This and santol are the fruits I truly miss living in the US. Thanks for the nostalgia (for me), MM!

    May 7, 2012 | 11:40 pm

  38. enna says:

    Lumboy! Eat a lot of this in Cebu. I remember my Lola she usually dry the leaves and make tustus.

    May 8, 2012 | 2:05 am

  39. natie says:

    Lumboy!!! more delicious when acquired from a neighbor’s yard… :-]

    May 8, 2012 | 6:33 am

  40. Dragon says:

    MM!!! Too much personal info ;-)!

    “I have always liked the combination of “pain” with pleasure… :)”

    May 8, 2012 | 8:51 am

  41. Farida says:

    Hi MM,
    Love lomboy and sineguelas. Is that how you spell it. I remember years ago my cousin and I climbed up a big tree in my Lola’s backyard and just ate away the lomboy. Sweet memories. I did have sineguelas when I was there last month. Fresh from the tree!! Would have love to go back to Zubuchon and have lechon again but I was here and there and everywhere,and did not have much time. Next year, puhon.

    May 8, 2012 | 12:07 pm

  42. jannah says:

    I remember eons ago, in our province, Auntie Maria had a duhat tree in front of her house, and my sister and I will go up the tree with a fistful of salt to eat duhat straight from the tree. Wala ng hugas hugas, punas na lang sa damit. Memories.

    May 8, 2012 | 12:53 pm

  43. Cecile says:

    @Sir Gej: Yes sir! My hometown is the usual starting point of the trekkies. And maybe it’s the soil. :) I tried to loosen my memory on soil pH because of that…:)

    May 8, 2012 | 3:42 pm

  44. Mary Lee says:

    One of my favorite Philippine fruits, which I haven’t had for over 36 years, since they are never in season when I visit. Shaken in a bowl with rock salt — the original health snack (less the salt, of course), probably rich in beta carotenes (or somesuch, considering the deep color). I bet the shakes were yummy.

    May 8, 2012 | 10:01 pm

  45. Katrina says:

    I haven’t had duhat in many, many years, but I remember enjoying it when put in a container, then shaken with salt.

    I must say, those are gorgeous photos, MM! Your blog’s visual appeal keeps getting better and better! :-)

    May 8, 2012 | 10:50 pm

  46. anna says:

    brings back childhood summer memories – duhat, sineguelas at santol. thanks MM for sharing your photos…

    May 9, 2012 | 1:25 pm

  47. atbnorway says:

    When I eat the dark cherries here in Norway, I always imagine I am eating duhat.

    May 9, 2012 | 3:17 pm

  48. Jane Fields says:

    What months are duhat and sineguelas in season in the Philippines? I never see them when I go there. And could you tell me what markets I can go to that sell them? Thanks!

    May 10, 2012 | 12:18 am

  49. Odessa Ates-Villareal says:

    duhat and Tuguanghel, means summer time… we would go to our neighbor’s house before going to the kapilya to attend the flores and ask the older ones to shake the tree…. it brings a lot of happy memories…. tapos ung stain sa kamay he he!!! minsan pati ang lips at damit kulay indigo/violet din he he!!! tapos pag dating sa simbahan mg laro muna ng agawan ng panyo….!!! those were the days!!!! thanks MM for sharing….

    May 15, 2012 | 4:32 pm

  50. udo gangl says:

    wow – so many comments on duhat of jaam plums.
    and i only got to find that now when looking for more info on duhat (wood) as i just recently bought some slabs of this particular wood…

    whats the taste like ? if possible to describe.
    read its beeing ripe in summertime – so no chance to get the taste end of this year when i will be in manila again ?!

    Nov 19, 2013 | 5:59 pm


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