22 Apr2013

Mabolo in Season

by Marketman


They could easily be mistaken for hunks of red wax sealed cheese. But while they were pungent like cheese, these fresh mabolo fruit, just shy of being perfectly ripe, were simply not as appealing as cheese. :) The last time I wrote about mabolo fruit, nearly 8 years ago, here, commenters took sides on for/against or like/dislike for this fruit. I thought I may have had a bad specimen the last time around, so I purchased these ones at the market a couple of weeks ago to have another try…


While these fruit of the kamagong tree are impressive to behold, feel hefty and weigh heavy in your palm, they emit a disturbingly pungent aroma and worse, for me at least, a totally unappealing texture and taste profile. Sorry, this is strike two for me, I am not likely to be converted into a mabolo eating fan anytime soon. At any rate, I post this for those of you who DO like mabolo, as they are increasingly rare to find in markets/groceries in recent years.


Head back to the earlier post on Mabolo for more details about this fruit. One odd thing though is that I purchased these fruit in April, but the last time around, I think I bought them several months later, in August. A quick check with Doreen Fernandez’s book on Philippine fruit suggests they should be in season from June to September, so these ones are curiously early…



  1. Betchay says:

    First photo looks like chunks of red apple. Am not a fan of mabolo either. It’s been ages since I’ve seen this fruit in the market so I guess the young ones now will hardly recognize this fruit. Thanks MM for documenting.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 6:45 am


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  3. natie says:

    The seasons have been changing, hence seasons for fruits have changed too..assumption only, but spring flowers have bloomed in a crazy pattern this year…

    Not a fan of mabolo, too, but will eat if marooned in an island like Survivor

    Apr 22, 2013 | 7:25 am

  4. Lou says:

    My grandaunt had a seedless mabolo tree in our yard but even then I didn’t like it. I didn’t even miss it when it was chopped down.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 8:57 am

  5. millet says:

    am a big fan of mabolo, especially if they’re served cold, except that they stink up everything else in the fridge.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 8:59 am

  6. pixienixie says:

    I grew up in a mabolo-eating household, but I never really got into embracing the fruit because of -as said – its odor, texture, and taste. I can eat it when cold, but only at gunpoint (lol). Recently we were given a piece by my father-in-law (he got it in a fruit basket – seriously, who would include it there?), and I made my daughter eat a slice. She didn’t like it one bit.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 9:16 am

  7. Dodi says:

    MM, I thought it was queso de bola, I had just opened one myself….Christmas leftover…
    I never ate mabolo again since grade 5 when I climbed a mabolo tree and ate a fruit and became itchy with rashes all over my body!

    Apr 22, 2013 | 9:33 am

  8. Marketman says:

    Lou, the wood is fantastic, kamagong! :) They are a disappearing hardwood and I suppose we should plant more of them, if only to suffer through the smell when the fruit is in season! :)

    Apr 22, 2013 | 9:34 am

  9. ling says:

    i missed this fruit

    i remember when we we’re young, my kuya would come home with lots of red hairy-like fruit, i would ask, kung saan niya nakuha ang mga ito, he would often tell me, binato lang namin sa kapitbahay … =)

    i’m also hoping that one day, plant a mabolo tree. i’ve been collecting and my father planting seedlings of fruit-bearing trees, para pag sawa na ako sa city life, i would go into farming …

    Apr 22, 2013 | 10:03 am

  10. Natie says:

    Would look very spectacular in a fruit bowl, though..look at that rich, red color! Would rival a bowlful of lemons…

    Apr 22, 2013 | 10:47 am

  11. Marketman says:

    Natie, but the SMELL… :)

    Apr 22, 2013 | 11:02 am

  12. edel says:

    i love mabolo. it reminds me of childhood. we have a tree or two in the province before. this fruit i can eat more than chesa.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 11:15 am

  13. Footloose says:

    If eaten just before the flesh fully ripens and its aroma blooms, mabolo can be delicious. When left to blet, the flesh gets really mushy and sometimes even mealy to rival tiesa in sickening yuckiness.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 12:33 pm

  14. lee says:

    I can tolerate mabolo but not tiesa.

    @Footloose. I learned a new word from you today. Blet. I hope to use that word in the near future.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 5:48 pm

  15. Susan says:

    My dad has one huge tree in his front yard and my brother every year tries to give the fruit away. One positive is they sure look good in pictures except that black one. Why a fruit with such velvety, bright red color smells and tastes like this I’m convinced it was the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden…but did Eve and Adam listen…noooo!! so the curse was placed on the fruit. Lol…sorry, couldn’t help it.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 7:00 pm

  16. ChrisB says:

    So Lee, this is what your blet post on FB is all about huh? :)

    Apr 22, 2013 | 8:15 pm

  17. Corrine says:

    Interesting info, MM. Susan, lol.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 9:32 pm

  18. rhea says:

    Hi MM. I am one of the rare few who do like them, as we had a tree in my Lola’s backyard then. Part of the fun before eating them was trying to remove all that “hair” that make you itch…we used to rub the fruit against something to remove the hairs – d ko na nga lang maalala kung ano ginamit namin dati. Unfortunately, the tree was cut down when my uncle built his house, kaya wala na kami mapagkunan nito. Sayang.

    Apr 22, 2013 | 11:03 pm

  19. PITS, MANILA says:

    memories from childhood. never really liked this fruit, can’t remember the scent …

    Apr 23, 2013 | 7:36 am

  20. natie says:

    Let’s just say bad memories(such as unpleasant Mabolo scent) are often placed “on the back burner”..on the far recesses of our minds..best forgotten..

    Apr 23, 2013 | 8:03 am

  21. lee says:

    @ChrisB. Yes. The Facebook “Blet” post was inspired by the comment of Footloose :) Learning a new word.

    Apr 23, 2013 | 1:15 pm

  22. millet says:

    aside from a new word, i learned a new phrase from footloose: “sickening yuckiness”, which perfectly describes tiesa, over-ripe or not. chilled mabolo slices would be perfect with some ripe brie, i imagine.

    Apr 23, 2013 | 7:12 pm

  23. Vermz says:

    So the tree is called kamagong but the fruit it bears is called mabolo? I think it’s the first time I’ve encountered a fruit called differently than the tree where it came from. I know that apples came from an apple tree, mangoes came from a mango tree, and so on. Interesting.

    Apr 25, 2013 | 8:40 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    Vermz, actually, I think it’s appropriate to refer to the tree, scientifically known as Diospyros blancoi, as EITHER/OR Mabolo or Kamagong. However, I think the fruit is generally referred to as Mabolo (or at least that’s what I’ve frequently heard), while the wood is generally referred to as Kamagong. Here’s a wiki entry on it. :)

    Apr 25, 2013 | 8:55 pm

  25. Footloose says:

    Another is acorn from an oak tree as in “from tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.” The fruit falling not far from the tree now comes with the proviso “unless a squirrel picked it first and took it to a neighbor’s yard.”

    Apr 26, 2013 | 6:18 am

  26. AlexMe says:

    Hi MM. I’ve been visting your website since 2010 and I just had to send in my first comment with all the memories being dredged up by your readers on this particular topic. We had a mabolo tree too in our very large backyard along with various other fruit trees-atis, caimato, calamansi, guava, guyabano, chico, etc. They’re all gone now except for the mango trees. Rhea-the hair of the fruit was cleaned off by rubbing it against the inside of coconut husks. Keep this blog going MM as it’s my favorite of the Favorites Tab on my computer.

    Apr 26, 2013 | 11:06 am

  27. Maki says:

    I haven’t tried this fruit yet.. amazing how it looks like wax covered cheese.. :D

    Apr 26, 2013 | 2:52 pm

  28. loug says:

    Is this a new variety? I remember having ones that have smoothed surfaces and not segmented and kind of plum shaped although much bigger. This is one fruit that smells and tastes like it, euwww!
    There must be a way to eat them without having facial contortions!

    Apr 26, 2013 | 10:01 pm

  29. vantravelguide says:

    true, I know what Mabolo is because we have a tree in the province but at first I really thought that its cheese in red wax. You got me there Marketman. :)

    Apr 29, 2013 | 11:52 am

  30. Ysabella says:

    I remember mabolo. There was this mabolo tree in one of the churches in my hometown. Most children would usually stone down the fruits. And rub the fruit in the grass to remove the tiny balahibos. I remember the texture it like velvet for me actually. Hehehhe. But it is an acquires taste its either you like it or not. The smell is like something is rotting of some sort. Childhood memories!!

    May 7, 2013 | 5:07 pm

  31. scramoodles says:

    A couple or so years ago, I bought some mabolo for my mother when I happened to be at Clark, Pampanga. It was my first time to see the and smell the fruit. I haven’t acquired the taste for it but maybe in due time. My mom identifies the mabolo as the local apple. She really loves it!

    May 9, 2013 | 4:11 pm

  32. Mari of NY says:

    So how close is this to a Durian? Now, with all this decriptions… I don’t think I would even try.

    I have not tried Mabolo but I remember that my Aunt and Uncle had a tree but vaguely remember it being red. I thought Mabolo was brown.

    May 22, 2013 | 4:31 am

  33. Qstorm says:

    We have a mabolo tree in our yard and it’s a very old one, being there since my Dad’s younger days. Since it has grown so tall (more than 3 stories high), when in season, he’ll just wait daily for any fruit to fall. Not for everyone’s palate, but I’d say It tastes good and sweet when properly ripened and you have to place it in a covered bowl so it doesn’t “odorize” other contents of the fridge. Langka, durian and marang would do that to a higher degree(imagine having mabolo flavored butter).

    Jun 4, 2013 | 11:06 am

  34. Montie says:

    I,m trying to look for a mabolo fruit or a seed , so i can plant it in our back yard, to preserve tha fruit, pls. do txt me or email me if you can donate some seed mor a fruit or a small mabolo tree. my number is 09087366282

    Jun 23, 2013 | 10:19 am

  35. Joel says:

    i remember mabolo from grade school. i bet most of you dont know that the young mabolo fruit has a seed like a kaong which is sweet. that’s what we use to gather..

    Jul 17, 2013 | 6:37 pm

  36. dinah says:

    mabolo fruit is not familiar in our place but there’s one grown tall in a neighboring barangay. ‘curious about how it taste, i’ve tried to blenderize it adding a bit sugar(or honey), lemon and milk and plenty of ice… wow, it taste like guyabano shake!

    Aug 22, 2013 | 11:38 am

  37. al says:

    i like this fruits coz the aroma can give you relief from minor headache and its cheese taste, most important is medicinal contribution to humanity….i love it!!!!

    Jan 26, 2015 | 10:37 am


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