I was recently reviewing a reference guide which had a section on tropical fruits from this part of the world and I was surprised to note that I seemed to have covered many of the fruits in the book. Turns out that Marketmanila has already featured over 50 locally-grown fruits in the past two years!!! Even I was surprised by the number, which represents nearly 6% of all posts, and that excludes posts on imported fruits! But many of these Pinoy or locally grown tropical fruits were featured early in the life of this blog, so I suspect a large percentage of my readers today have never bothered to go back into the archives to read about them. So to help you locate what might be of interest of you, here is the Marketmanila Philippine grown fruit indexâ€¦enjoy!
My first post ever was on Dalandan, a local citrus fruit excellent in juice. Saba Bananas quickly followed and I have since featured sabas cooked in a variety of ways. The indigenous and rarely heard of outside our shores, Pili fruit was also featured nearly two years ago. Sampalok (tamarind) followed and is the hallmark of several cooked dishes and sweets in the Philippine fruit line-up. Pajo is typically eaten fresh or pickled. Kalamansi (calamondin), Pakwan (red watermelon), Pinya (pineapples) were also early features. Makopa (Curacao Apple) caused a bit of a stir as there are at least 3 types of makopa that differ from each other slightly. Suha (pomelo) is one of my top-10 fruits, period. Yellow watermelons were an interesting and surprisingly sweet find. Duhat received a lot of attention, primarily from overseas Filipinos who seem to recall this fruit with great fondness. Ruby grapefruits are definitely not native, but are now raised in the South. Indian Mangoes bring strong memories of summers spent at the beach, ripe Carabao Mangoes are possibly one of my Top 3 fruits on the planet, and Caimito (star fruit) were perhaps in nearly everyoneâ€™s backyard or at least neighborhood. Mangosteen for many is an uncommon luxury, but for me, today, it possesses a complexity of flavor that my adult palate truly appreciates. Camachile was something I never got into, but others enjoy, usually accompanied with childhood memories hanging out on a tree. Kamansi (seeded breadfruit) is really used more as a vegetable, while Singkamas (jicama), which grows underground is eaten more like a fruit. Sineguelas is also one of those fruits that have gotten a tremendous number of hits on this website.
Avocadoes are terrific and everyone seems to have the cold version with milk, sugar, cream, condensed milk, etc. I discovered these superb Sagada Oranges (both navels and valencias) in the Baguio market one summer. While this post on Santol brings back memories of a huge tree we had in our front yard in our Quezon City when I was in diapersâ€¦ Real Dayap is a national treasure, while Atis requires serious mouth skills to remove the pulp from the apparently poisonous seeds that when dried can kill liceâ€¦ Rambutans are gorgeous to behold, delicious to taste while Lanzones are another of those fruits that elicited a strong positive reaction from overseas based Pinoys. One of my earliest frequent readers and son of an American diplomat once assigned to Manila asked me to do a post on slicing mangoes that got surprising attentionâ€¦ Mabolo or kamagong is one of those possibly Jurassic jungle fruits native to these parts while Langka (jackfruit) could possible be used as a weapon if catapulted at a dramatic speed. Bayabas (guava) come in several shapes, sizes, colors, etc. but the basic flavor is memorable, and the fruit is terrific fresh or cooked. Papayas (paw-paw) were the ultimate laxative symbol of my parentâ€™s generation and despite saying I would never be caught dead eating them, I now enjoy my solo servings with a touch of kalamansi squeezed on it. Satsuma oranges are now grown in the north, while Tamarillos confounded both my suki vendor and myself as to what it actually was. Ube is really not a fruit, but I like it best as jam so I’ll throw it into this index in case you want to read my entry on it. Chicos (sapodilla) are intense and bold, terrific when served ripe and cold. Chicos were also used by Margarita Fores inventively with prosciutto, in lieu of fresh figs. Green Melons or honey dews made erratic but sometimes acceptable appearances, along with some other Cantaloupes and Golden Honeydews.
A trip to Bicol last year led to the roadside discovery of Lipote, a duhat like fruit, while I ate fresh Pili nutsright from the tree. Kamias is a classic souring agent and omnipresent again in most backyardsâ€¦as a kid I ate it with lots of rock salt when there was nothing else to munch on. Macapuno fruit was a revelation the first time I cooked with it, but turns out most of Marketmanilaâ€™s readers had likewise never seen this fruit despite having eaten it preserved for decades and decades. Kolo (Breadfruit) is synonymous with childhood trips to the Bohol coast where my motherâ€™s childhood home was. Atemoya was something I donâ€™t think I ever ate as a youngster though it is similar to the more common Atis fruit. Durian is a stinker; loved by many reviled by others. I just canâ€™t get over the smell and texture of the pulp. Kalumpit or native cherries of some sort caused the most reader discussion as everyone weighed in with an opinion to really identify what it wasâ€¦one of my readers sent several emails and I thank her for all that research. Pasionaria (Passionfruit) here is more orange as opposed to the purple/burgundy ones in other countries and has a distinctive flavor. Balimbing is better known as an adjective describing a politician, but it is a stunning geometrically shaped fruit. How can I forget to mention our ever present but often underrated buko, served as is but ice cold? Finally, in the past couple of weeks, I wrote about Rhubarb grown in the Mountain Province and some Apple Mangoes from a Cebu backyardâ€¦ Phew, that is a lot of FRUIT!!!