14 May2009

Duhat in Season!

by Marketman


A quick semi-contrite apology to all of you abroad and without access to tropical fruit… IT’S DUHAT TIME. :) I LOVE duhat. And when I lived in the West, I think I went 12 or 13 years without that astringent, mouth-drying experience followed by the juicy sweet and sour fruit, often enjoyed with rock salt. Yum. And in markets now are some superb enormous varieties of duhat. Out back we have a tree with small fruit that are quite sour, but also excellent with salt. I have written about duhat before, and even a post on its much lesser known cousin, lipote, so consider this just another “seasonal announcement” for folks who don’t frequent the wet markets.


Tropical fruit posts almost always elicit several reader comments about how they used to enjoy the fruit… some scampering up into trees with plastic bags filled with salt. Others about falling out of the darned trees. Yet others have relationships etched into the trunk of those trees… whatever the memories, I hope this post has given you a visual peg (as one of MM’s readers used to say) to an iconic fruit from Philippine summers… And if you have orchards of the stuff, you might want to consider making duhat “balsamic” vinegar. Which in turn made a pretty good duhat adobo. Enjoy!



  1. Jun b says:

    This is something I never had for almost 20 years na yata. My lolo has a tree of this and whenever I visit them during summer holiday and which is the time that this duhat is in season. My cousins will feast on it on top of the tree with a rock salt in hand and a bowl then shake them together till the duhat and salt blend together. Will never forget that taste !

    May 14, 2009 | 11:20 am


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  3. MartinL says:

    Full episode of Jessica Soho 5/9/09 http://tvnatinto.blogspot.com/2009/05/kapuso-mo-jessica-soho-5909.html Galing MM

    May 14, 2009 | 11:20 am

  4. bluestars says:

    oh my.. you made me miss the philippines so much more. hehe ;) thanks for the post, made me so nostalgic..

    May 14, 2009 | 11:22 am

  5. mojito drinker says:

    mmmm =)

    May 14, 2009 | 11:22 am

  6. sanojmd says:

    holy dooley! i love duhat especially with asin.. oh my, i am really missing pinas even more with this post.. i can still remember the taste of that fruit.. now my parasympathetic ganglion is stimulated.. im salivating just by looking with your photos..got to go, before i started to really drool..hehehe

    May 14, 2009 | 11:29 am

  7. mardie c",) says:

    in cebu we call this “lumboy”….pagkalami!!! i miss this a lot, its been a while.

    May 14, 2009 | 11:32 am

  8. Maria Clara says:

    In my hometown folks mixed and smashed the ripe duhat in boiled and cooled carabao milk and keep the reddish-purplish colored concoction in the refrigerator to cool down. The addition of simple syrup makes this treat a real thirst quencher in hot summer months.

    May 14, 2009 | 11:33 am

  9. silly lolo says:

    Ummm…do you end up with black doodoo when you eat this stuff? Even if you apologized, I still think you are mean for making us drool out here over duhat. I have particularly sweet memories with the duhat orchard and a certain preety lady in San Pablo, Laguna.
    Being a gentleman, I never kiss and tell but her initials are B-a-b-y .A-b-a-d.

    May 14, 2009 | 11:35 am

  10. RoBStaR says:

    without a doubt…. this is one of the fruits i miss the most….these things haven’t touched my lips in more than 23 yrs. Now I know its season….and will plan accordingly.

    May 14, 2009 | 11:55 am

  11. Ley says:

    Like the mansanitas (aratiles), lomboy is ingrained in my childhood memories….

    silly lolo, hahahaha.. you are always funny. i can just imagine you in your younger days.. debonair and witty and cool!

    May 14, 2009 | 12:08 pm

  12. lyna says:

    MM, my gosh!!! you can be so cruel!!! now I have to find someone who is coming here and beg them to bring even at least 10 pieces of duhat. How about siniguelas? are they in season already???

    May 14, 2009 | 12:55 pm

  13. moni says:

    Iyna, yes siniguelas is also in season now. About 3-4 months from now, other tropical fruits will be in the market. Our lanzones trees have started to flower.

    May 14, 2009 | 1:05 pm

  14. evelinago says:

    Duhat, Santol and Lanzones – those are the Philippine fruits I miss the most, although not necessarily in that order.

    May 14, 2009 | 1:42 pm

  15. betty q. says:

    Yeah, Silly Lolo…if MM finished that whole bowlful of duhat, he’ll have black doodoo for DAYS!!!! I know I would if I finished a whole bowlful of blueberries…

    May 14, 2009 | 1:56 pm

  16. Clairee says:

    Our family loves Duhat. We usually put a handful in 1 container then put some salt and sugar, close the container and shake everything together! Yummy! You should try it… it makes the duhat a little bit softer and the mixture of sweet, sour, and saltiness is just heavenly.

    May 14, 2009 | 2:02 pm

  17. Naz says:

    I know there is no comparison but the closest thing we do here is cherry picking. Big, black, Bing Cherries. We put them in a bowl, sprinkle some salt, give it a shake, whalah… ALMOST like duhat. The last time I had duhat was over 30 years ago. MM, you are cruel indeed.

    May 14, 2009 | 2:14 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    Naz, OMG, I LOVE cherries. And yes, sometimes I eat sour cherries with salt! :)

    May 14, 2009 | 2:25 pm

  19. betty q. says:

    Naz…have you ever tried the cherry variety called Staccato? They are by far the biggest, sweetest cherries ever. Season is in late summer …comes after the Lapins are out.

    May 14, 2009 | 2:28 pm

  20. lojet says:

    Sweet black Bing cherries are comparable and in some cases superior than duhat but we always crave what we can not have.

    May 14, 2009 | 3:04 pm

  21. angiegirl says:

    MM..you really made me miss the Philippines so much, I’m in my 24th week of pregnancy and I’m still craving for duhat, santol and singkamas. There’s really no way I will be able to eat those in the coming months. Its really hard to find those fruits here in the middle east …=(

    May 14, 2009 | 3:18 pm

  22. linda says:

    As a kid in a convent,I inserted one duhat seed in one of the girls’ nostril as she kept on begging me for one more duhat several times, and as I was getting close to the bottom of the bag, I told her to close her eyes and open her mouth and that’s when I did it!:) I did work hard for that bag of duhat and she didn’t!hehehehehe! I miss duhat,kaimitos and lanzones!

    I love silly lolo!

    May 14, 2009 | 3:26 pm

  23. rhea says:

    yeah, lumboy! yum. we have a tree in Bacolod that bears the larger version of the fruit. Kaso ang hirap manguha ng bunga kasi puno ng “hantik” or pala [stress on the second syllable]. But it makes it all the more sweet and worth it because of the difficulty in getting them.

    May 14, 2009 | 5:14 pm

  24. z says:

    i love duhat! :)

    my grandparents have a duhat tree in their backyard in qc :) but it became so tall, it got too hard to pick the fruit!

    May 14, 2009 | 5:16 pm

  25. wil-b cariaga says:

    hmmm. . . i’ve rejected having duhat eversince i was a kid, so i dont really know hot it tastes, i know it’s sour and my folks usually shake the fruits with salt inside two bowls. . . and i remember the duhat tree near my uncle’s house, the fruits drop on the street so the cement turns dark purple. . .hmm i should try having it. . .

    May 14, 2009 | 5:18 pm

  26. luna miranda says:

    duhat adobo! that is something worth experimenting on.:D i also love duhat (we call it lumboy in Ilonggo). we usually put the fruits & salt in a covered container and shake it before eating. the best duhat i’ve ever tasted came from Guimaras.

    May 14, 2009 | 5:49 pm

  27. risa says:

    I’ve come across this before but how does one translate “MAPAKLA” again?

    May 14, 2009 | 6:00 pm

  28. len says:

    in cebu we call that lomboy.

    May 14, 2009 | 6:43 pm

  29. Katrina says:

    I really appreciate these seasonal fruit heads-ups, MM! I don’t go to the wet market and, consequently, am not that familiar with when particular fruits are in season. Posts like this remind me to search the fruit out.

    I think I know who used to say “visual peg.” We ad folk tend to talk alike. ;-)

    May 14, 2009 | 6:55 pm

  30. Connie C says:

    Risa, I often wondered how to translate mapakla in English. The closest would be acrid or astringent? Except for a variety of persimmon (when not fully ripe), I don’t know of fruits that people in the West would eat that would be “mapakla”, and might explain the lack of an exact translation. Let’s ask Andrew Zimmern or Anthony Bourdain…..may require them another trip to the Philippines for a taste of duhat the way we eat them.

    May 14, 2009 | 8:16 pm

  31. Apicio says:

    In the way they coat your mouth and make it feel constricted, duhat and santol can be described as astringent. Less formal would be mouth-puckering.

    May 14, 2009 | 8:29 pm

  32. Fabian M says:

    I’m glad that you guys knew that the secret to eating it was mixing it up in a jar with salt? We were walking around Binondo a few weeks ago and a friend of mine decided to buy duhat, thinking they’d taste good. They were so mapakla! Ugh. And we bought a whole kilo, too.

    We got home, and added salt to it. That didn’t work! It was mapakla AND salty. We could not understand how can anyone eat this stuff. Do any of you guys actually eat the fruit just plain? Is the secret to adding salt that u have to add a lot of it and shake it up in a jar? We were just so clueless about duhat. To think that people say that they are salivating reading this post.

    * * *

    Other duhat memory is our duhat tree back in our old house in QC. We never ate the fruit as kids. We just liked smashing the fruit on each others t-shirts. They would leave a stain that would be hard to remove. Our poor laundry-woman.

    May 14, 2009 | 8:33 pm

  33. TOK says:

    MM: Buti nalang may MANSANITAS dito sa Saudi. Pero mamimiss ko yang duhat, lalo yung inalog sa asin.Manyaman!

    May 14, 2009 | 8:43 pm

  34. marissewalangkaparis says:

    My sister-in-law has a tree in her backyard and she gave me about 2 kilos. Yum…brought some to the office and the staff loved it. Placed in a bowl,add salt,luglugin. So good…
    This reminds me of our childhood days…there is a lot of siniguelas now on the fruitstands. Lately,I realize how fortunate we are to have a lot of fruits all year round. I have a santol tree in the backyard and it has really sweet fruit. Waiting for it to be ready for picking…big and juicy…yum.

    Silly lolo…you’re so silly…hahaha

    May 14, 2009 | 8:55 pm

  35. Vicky Go says:

    I do miss duhat, ripe ones that are shaken w salt. The only fair enough substitute is ripe sour cherries (not in season yet) washed & shaken w coarse sea salt. But really doesn’t compare w duhat or sineguelas (when is the season for the latter?). I also miss santol, manggang kalabaw, paho & of course lanzones!

    May 14, 2009 | 9:14 pm

  36. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    OMG!!! The last time I had them, i was wearing boots, shorts and beatle t-shirt ala marketman!!! hehehehe

    May 14, 2009 | 9:19 pm

  37. dhayL says:

    As soon as I saw the photo up top, ofcourse not reading the title yet, I thought it was olives, but then it turned out to be one off my fave fruits-Duhat!!!! nangangasim tuloy ako, and too bad for us, we can’t have it right now….

    May 14, 2009 | 9:36 pm

  38. dishesandplaces says:

    now this brings back memories! we had a big duhat tree in our yard when i was growing up. during duhat season a lot of kids from the vicinity would come and try to take their pick – so it was actually a mad harvest race between them and us

    May 14, 2009 | 9:58 pm

  39. Naz says:

    4 betty q: No, I honestly have not tried the Staccato variety. Most of the cherry farms we do our picking from here in Brentwood, grow the ‘Bing, Rainier, & Vans’ varieties, no Staccato. Is that only grown in Washington? By the way, we are planning to go up north, would it be alright to meet you i2i? Send me an e-mail, esnazareno@comcast.net

    Sorry, MM, for hijacking your post. I have been wanting to communicate with betty_q for a long long time.

    May 14, 2009 | 10:19 pm

  40. kim says:

    hmp ! what i remember n miss is “baligang” (in bicol, i dont know the tag term), it’s smaller & more sour – pretty sure must be a member of the duhat family … and yes, inaalog w/ salt & sugar… simutin pa ang juice up to the last drop !

    May 14, 2009 | 11:10 pm

  41. dina says:

    Wondering if you have tried making duhat jam/preserve?

    May 14, 2009 | 11:54 pm

  42. sunflowii says:

    Hi MM. what about sineguelas? is it in season too? my husband has been craving it for years.

    May 15, 2009 | 12:07 am

  43. noes says:

    My childhood favorite fruit. I miss it so much.

    May 15, 2009 | 4:06 am

  44. Lor says:

    Nooooooooooooooo! This is pure, unadulterated torture. My mouth is watering just looking at those photos. I love duhat, almost as much as I love santol, and it’s killing me that I can’t have any. I have fond memories of going over to my aunt’s friend’s place where we would pick and eat duhat till our mouths, fingers and t-shirts were purple.


    May 15, 2009 | 5:18 am

  45. Divine G says:

    Duhat is mapakla if it is not ripe yet. In Tarlac we also call it lumboy. Do you know that they have frozen lanzones in the Asian markets here in the states? You have to eat it as soon as it is thawed or else the taste is kinda different.I also have seen frozen caimito but I have never tried it yet. Yeah remember how you would smile so that they would see your purple teeth? We even had contest on who would finish the shaking of the duhat and salt inside two bowls first. Those were the days. About cherries I love it but you know what they say if you eat too much of this you keep on passing gas.

    May 15, 2009 | 7:25 am

  46. Rico says:

    When I was young, my mom would place the duhats in a bowl with rock salt, then cover and shake vigorously.

    May 15, 2009 | 7:28 am

  47. dragon says:

    Another astringent fruit I have tried (didn’t like it) is quince.

    May 15, 2009 | 8:19 am

  48. Marketman says:

    dragon, I think I have only had a ripe quince once and it wasn’t too astringent… Rico, the bowl and shake method seems like the preferred one… Divine G and others… there is some chemical or substance in the skin of the duhat/lumboy that has that “aphud” or “mapakla” effect on ones tongue. Oddly, I look for that sandpaper on tongue feel when I eat duhat… Lor and others elsewhere on the planet… sorry to bring torture through photos. And in answer to the many questions, yes, sineguelas is appearing in markets now. dina, I have never tried making duhat jam, the pits are daunting… kim, I think baligang is the lipote in the link up top in the main post…

    May 15, 2009 | 9:02 am

  49. betty q. says:

    …mapakla….acerbic or chappy?

    May 15, 2009 | 9:57 am

  50. patty says:

    cut and pasting from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste
    Some foods, such as unripe fruits, contain tannins or calcium oxalate that cause an astringent or rough sensation of the mucous membrane of the mouth or the teeth. Examples include tea, red wine, rhubarb and unripe persimmons and bananas.

    Less exact terms for the astringent sensation are “dry”, “rough”, “harsh” (especially for wine), “tart”, (normally referring to sourness) “rubbery”, “hard” or “styptic”.[26] The Chinese have a term for this: æ¾€ (sè), the Koreans have 떫다 (tteolda), the Japanese call it 渋い (shibui), while Thai have ฝาด (fard), the Malay use kelat, Filipinos use pakla, the Polish cierpki and in Russian there is вяжущий (vyazhuschiy) or тёрпкий (tjorpky).

    May 15, 2009 | 12:16 pm

  51. toping says:

    I knew it! A few days ago I was wondering if it was duhat season yet because I suddenly hankered for the stuff. Strange, because it must have been 25+ years ago since I last ate it!

    May 15, 2009 | 12:55 pm

  52. bearhug0127 says:

    We call it “lumboy” in Iloilo and I have a lot of good times climbing the tree and eating it straight from the branches. I like the crispy ones though…

    May 15, 2009 | 1:29 pm

  53. lyna says:

    Kim, yes Baligang or maligang from Bicol.. really miss that so much now. I think even in Bicol it is rare to find that fruit now

    May 15, 2009 | 2:03 pm

  54. mikel says:

    oo nga MM. you’re cruel. and like Naz, i’ve been eating BIG, FAT, JUICY, SWEET cherries for days now..bowls and bowls of it! both bing and rainier! hah!

    May 16, 2009 | 2:29 am

  55. mikel says:

    PS. let me know if you make it to R.F. and update with the who-what-where’s.

    May 16, 2009 | 2:33 am

  56. isabella says:


    Where did you buy such beautiful duhat?
    Hope to know!

    Thanks very much.

    May 16, 2009 | 11:08 am

  57. Marketman says:

    isabella, FTI Taguig Saturday market though i suspect they are at Farmers market, lung center in QC, Salcedo and Legaspi markets as well. Also saw some at Market!Market in Taguig.

    May 16, 2009 | 11:31 am

  58. Gener says:

    Duhat or Lumboy?? that is “ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES” i got a tree of it in my neighbour and i picked it for free! i choosed the very dark ones and most shiny as to avoid that mapakla-preparation is easy, clean it with water, put it on a bowl, put salt on it then shake it!(put cover on the bowl) how about trying the fallen fruits on the ground??? try it too, choose the dried one, taste is even better compare to dried prunes or pasas.

    May 16, 2009 | 4:15 pm

  59. jet says:

    It’s been yeeeeeears since I had duhat or lomboy as we called it in Zambales. You’re makin’ my eyes water with happiness at the sight of the beautiful dark pearl of sourly goodness covered in glistening white NaCl. ahhhhhhhh. It’s killin me man.

    So, May/June is duhat season? I guess I’m gonna have to schedule my trip to PI next year around this time of the year. Thanks.

    May 18, 2009 | 1:33 pm

  60. roszhien says:

    huhu..kakagutom..hehe.. lomboy rin tawag namin diyan dito sa south cotabato..hmMm..by the way our province is known as Fruit Basket of the Philippines.. we have many fruit plantations here..hehe..

    May 18, 2009 | 3:45 pm

  61. ike ledesma says:

    anyone out there can tell me what primary vitamin contents qre there sa duhat or lumboy, and what is the english name?

    May 19, 2009 | 6:10 am

  62. Mar Muyco says:

    Wow, lomboy! It is such a wonderful fruit!
    It sure reminds us of our childhood, mine in Iloilo. My brother brought some seeds and grew them here in San Diego, California. 15 years later, they have grown into big trees but never had fruits. It would have been nice if it does have fruits because the crown of the tree is about 15 feet wide. anyway, the flavor of the fruit can never be replicated but I think the closest fruit from here would be Cherries, which we have plenty of, especially at the Cherry Festival near Palm Springs in June.

    Jun 13, 2009 | 1:08 am

  63. Benjing says:

    MM, you’re so cruel! I have not had duhat for ages…I can only dream about it. By August/September, blackberries will be in season here in the Midwest (USA). I have a blackberry bush in my backyard and I harvest the biggest and sweetest blackberries. If I pick them before they’re too soft and they’re still a bit sour, then it’s almost like duhat. Of course, I sprinkle it with Maldon salt (which is very much like the coarse salt from Cavite) and shake it. Thanks so much for the beautiful pics!

    Jun 17, 2009 | 3:39 am

  64. penny says:

    i love duhat! my visayan grandparents had several trees in their backyard in dumaguete so whenever we visit in the summer, we’d climb the trees. but like kim & lyna, i love baligang (or amhi as we call it in naga) more. we used to climb or tukdol/sungkit it from the tree with all the black ants. my father is from calabanga, camsur & there used to be a lot of the baligang trees around his neighborhood with the sweetest & biggest variety i’ve ever seen & tasted. they’re all gone now & i miss them so. & it’s true, it’s rare to see them in the market. that’s always what i ask my friends for during my annual visits to bicol. one of my “to dos” is to find seedlings or saplings of the baligang tree & plant them in one of our vacant lots in bicol. it’s a shame to let this specie become extinct.

    Mar 1, 2010 | 8:12 pm

  65. parirami says:

    Isn’t ‘tannin’ in red wines – described as ‘robust’ or minute..etc, just the same experience as ‘Pakla’, only that it’s use in the Philippines in a more negative way when refering to unripened fruits? See, it seems to me that our experience of tannins as a functional substance were largely in their most astringent amounts: eating unripened fruits, biting into skins or seeds, dryness in the mouth immediately drinking water after eating produce not yet in their peak (such as santol)… Some people actually like bananas just before they are at their peak, so we do love ‘pakla’ in a tolerable way.

    I wonder if there are creative Filipino recipes exploring this taste? I don’t suppose who should view the taste negatively. In minute amounts, it actually adds to the feel in the mouth.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 10:39 am

  66. kittel says:

    This is one of my favorite fruits. The fondest memories I have is sitting on top of the Lumboy tree and just reaching out and eating the fruits right then and there…Makes me want to go home and climb the tree just for the heck of it.but on second thought, I might break the branches off with my current weight…

    Jun 4, 2010 | 11:17 pm

  67. Samson says:

    The closest fruit to Lanzones is the Pink Grapefruit Juice, just add a little salt and shake it. then you have a Lanzones Cocktail. Try it you’ll like it!!! I’ve done this many time and my family loves my Lanzones Cocktail. Ice Cold.

    Sep 15, 2010 | 1:48 am

  68. denzztabs, Australia says:

    I love this fruit and i remember my childhood days and we used to steal/climb this tree at the cemetery and its soooo sweet and juicy too like if you shake it with salt and sugar.No one dared to taste this lovely fruit but us, some old folk says its guarded by ghosts and the best thing is we dont believe in ghosts LOL but we believe in the sweetness of this stuff!.One more thing, we can climb this fruit anytime we want to as long as we have a pack of Alhambra cigarette as bribe to the local “Sepulturero”….those were the days.

    Jan 17, 2011 | 12:59 pm


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