15 Aug2010


With some 2,500 posts in the archives, the connections that people make through this blog are becoming really interesting… On one level, readers add so much with comments that collectively add so much more data or to nearly every post. This is particularly true for food items or dishes I am not familiar with, or regional dishes, or just things that others find common, while I do not. On another level, a growing number of varied groups of users frequent the site as a first stop reference, the modern result of googling a particular word… if you google “dalandan” or “mangosteen jam” or “pinakbet” or “sinigang” or “inasal na manok” or “lechon” or “littuko”, the number one or two result is a post on marketmanila.com. So I was only mildly surprised when I received an email late last year asking about my photos of littuko or rattan fruit in a post I wrote in July 2007, here.


The email was from Mr. Lars Krutak, popularly known as the “Tatoo Hunter” on the Discovery Channel, but formerly an archaeologist/anthropologist and tattoo specialist associated with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. It seems that at that point in time, my photo of rattan fruit was one of the few on the internet, if not the only one, so he was asking permission to use the photo in a book he was writing. Turns out Mr. Krutak has had an interest in the ancient and tribal tattoos of the Kalinga and other Mt. Province tribes of the North, and has written several articles here and here. They are fascinating. And he was finally going to turn his research into a book, with the final title being “Kalinga Tattoo: Ancient & Modern Expressions of the Tribal” that was supposed to have been published in the Spring but which I gather is delayed and will be coming out in a few weeks time. An article about the upcoming book was written here.


So what’s the connection? It seems the unique snakeskin like pattern of the peel on the rattan fruit or littuko, is the basis for one of the tattoo patterns used extensively by the Kalinga. And their penchant for tattoos goes back hundreds and hundreds of years… Isn’t that just kinda cool? I thought it was. And I like the whole headhunter aspect of the story. I could definitely have been a headhunter in an earlier life. :) Of course I immediately gave permission for the use of the photo(s) and provided high-resolution images and only asked that marketmanila.com be used as the source. This is true for nearly EVERY SINGLE SIMILAR request I have received over the years, as photos of abaca fiber, duhats, produce, dishes, etc. have all been provided free of charge to students, authors, producers, etc. as long as proper attribution to the source was provided. It’s the folks that STEAL material that piss me off…

At any rate, when I saw this fairly long vine of rattan fruit at the market yesterday, I decided to buy it and take more photographs because I realized that one of the unintended benefits of maintaining this blog is that it has built up a fairly large storehouse of photos and information of various types of foods, local produce, and assorted silliness that may just be of use to other folks around the country and the world. :)

P.S. If you live in Albay and have your new telephone directory from PLDT, can you please email me if there is a photo of fresh pili nuts on the cover and if so, who the photo is attributed to inside the directory? I haven’t seen it myself. Thanks. :)



  1. Nadia says:

    Hi. I read your 2007 post on rattan fruit. Unlike you, my first encounter with it was pretty good. The wife of my boss, who hails from Kalinga, served me some pickled rattan fruit as an appetizer or condiment with fried dried fish. They come out really good when pickled. It really whets your appetite and leaves you craving for more :)

    Aug 15, 2010 | 10:27 am


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  3. uniok says:

    I remember when i was a child, Some Kalingas with Tattoos use to harvest Areca ( Gawed) in our small cornfield near to a creek. I watch them arranging the leaves in their basket.The Kalingas in our town were confined in one Barrio due to the arrival of Ilocanos. I noticed that the ladys have aquiline nose comparing to some Ilocanos. Maybe due to the culture they have before and it has something to do with their genetic stocks, that a couple can share his wife to another as long the Third party will pay with carabao or land etc. They use to build houses on top of a tree. When the third party wants to see the woman, He has to shout in a melody. So that the husband of the woman will go down to the treehouse giving way to the third party…

    Now they are Christian, wala nang ” Pugot Ulo”

    With regards to your post, I can only eat maybe 5pcs of littuko kasi maasim.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 11:37 am

  4. Connie C says:

    I am now reminded of a high school classmate who hails from the MT. Province and introduced me to what then seemed to me a strange fruit. They are beautiful though. I can see their colors and pattern of the skin in my upholstery fabric.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 12:14 pm

  5. Enrico MD says:

    Hi MarketMan!

    I’m a big fan of your blog and read it daily. I really have nothing much to do today so i decided to check whether the words you’ve listed above are indeed the top 1 or 2 post in Google.

    1. dalandan – 3rd
    2. mangosteen jam – 1st
    3. pinakbet – 12th
    4. sinigang – 19th
    5. inasal na manok – 1st
    6. lechon – 5th
    7. littuko – 1st


    Aug 15, 2010 | 1:14 pm

  6. quiapo says:

    In Baguio market I purchased long ago a bamboo stick which had the patterns of traditional tattoos meant to be a record for future generations. In 1998, I acquired in Banawe an old walking staff which had a bulul on top with porcelain eyes, and again tribal tattoo designs about halfway along its length. It is good that there is preservation of our older cultures, and despite the benefits of progress, there is sadness at the passing of the old ways, as we lose so much that is ours and so valuable.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 1:38 pm

  7. dragon says:

    I’m not from Kalinga nor have I been there. I was in my early teens when I first came across the rattan fruit at a local market, mistaking it for lychee and/or longan (no one with to tell me otherwise). I had more than a kilo’s worth; when I got home and tried it, nearly died as they were so sour and didn’t know what to do with it (plus the fact it was so difficult to peel them). Years later, one of my aunts from Isabela correctly told me that they were rattan fruit; disbelieving as I was as the only rattan I knew were the chairs…

    Aug 15, 2010 | 1:59 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    Enrico, MD, cool, thanks for that. Does it matter what country you google from? Or if your computer has googled or searched for the item before? How odd, on my computer, just now, I checked all of them and they are 1st or 2nd… If others in the U.S., Europe and the Philippines would do me a favor, google a couple of those words to see how they fare from your computers???… it would be cool to see if they differ from country to country or computer to computer within country… Thanks. :)

    Aug 15, 2010 | 2:09 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Enrico, from Mrs. MM’s computer the rankings are:

    Dalandan = 2nd
    Mangosteen Jam = 1st
    Pinakbet = 13th
    Sinigang = 22nd
    Inasal na Manok = 1st
    Lechon = 6th
    Littuko = 1st

    How weird is that. The rankings on her computer, from the same internet link up, has different numbers than those on my own computer. :)

    Aug 15, 2010 | 2:15 pm

  10. Enrico MD says:

    Sir Marketman,

    I’m from the philippines and Im using google.com.ph

    Maybe google looks first for html pages in your computer that’s why your posts are number 1 or 2 most of the time? I’m not too sure.

    However, one thing i’m sure about – you definitely have the #1 food blog in the internet. Your daily posts are really something that i look forward too, aside from ourawesomeplanet.com.ph. Keep up the good work! =)

    Aug 15, 2010 | 2:25 pm

  11. Junb says:

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:15 pm

  12. Junb says:

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:17 pm

  13. Botchok says:

    Mm, I’m here in southern california and this is how it came up.
    Dalandan = 1st
    Mangosteen jam = 1st
    Pinakbet = 7th
    Sinigang = 22nd
    Inasal na manok = 1st
    Lechon = 32nd
    Littuko = 1st

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:17 pm

  14. Junb says:

    I mean isn’t it cool….anyway the data is more of an estimate but I guess it should be close

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:23 pm

  15. k. ramos says:

    Do you plan on watermarking your future photos, MM? Just in case someone will steal your pics again.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:31 pm

  16. Botchok says:

    @ Junb = glad you corrected yourself because i’ve been thinking for 10 minutes now what isn’t cool in that profile site, hahaha!

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:34 pm

  17. sleepless in Seattle says:

    Rattan fruit is one of my fave fruit,if i can find em at all,when i go home.Nice pics! wish i can have some right now,

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:36 pm

  18. Junb says:

    in Singapore, you have to clear your internet explored or safari history, cache and cookies
    Dalandan = 1st
    Mangosteen jam = 1st
    Pinakbet = 5th
    Sinigang = 19th
    Inasal na manok = 1st
    Lechon = 26th although Anthony bourdain post on lechon came 3rd
    Littuko = 1st
    Tocino = 3rd
    batwan = 3rd

    looks for words/items that are not common you’ll come within the top 3 ;)


    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:45 pm

  19. Junb says:

    If littuko is sour maybe you ca n try it as souring fruit for sinigang?

    Aug 15, 2010 | 3:48 pm

  20. lee says:

    I saw that National Geographic episode on tribal tattooing from Kalinga and their tattoo artist was a very old lady who used pomelo spines as needles and kitchen soot as ink.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 7:24 pm

  21. noes says:

    I miss this fruit so much.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 8:07 pm

  22. EJ says:

    Hi, I first encountered this fruit at the Chedi Hotel in Bandung, Indonesia and have seen it only in Indonesia so far. The hotel staff told me that they call it “snake fruit”. I remember the fruit as being slightly sweet.

    As to your survey, these are the results here in Amsterdam:

    1. dalandan – 1
    2. mangosteen jam – 1
    3. pinakbet – 33
    4. sinigang – 23
    5. inasal na manok – 1
    6. lechon – 28
    7. littuko – 1

    Aug 15, 2010 | 8:17 pm

  23. Cynthia says:

    From New Jersey:

    dalandan – 1
    mangosteen jam – 1
    pinakbet – 6 (wikipedia – 1)
    sinigang – 15 (wikipedia – 1)
    inasal na manok – 1
    lechon – 23 (wikipedia – 1, bourdain – 2)
    littuko – 1

    Aug 15, 2010 | 8:43 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    gosh, that’s really cool, the rankings except for the top 4, vary from country to country!

    Aug 15, 2010 | 8:45 pm

  25. Footloose says:

    You get a hard-earned number 1 for Budbud Kabog, a surprising number 5 for ensaimada. Pospas and kamansi also put you in number 1 but those sinister looking space invaders kagang and the trap for catching them, pasgang both get you number 3 although the two items that topped them meant something else.

    Aug 15, 2010 | 8:45 pm

  26. Mimi says:

    i used google on safari:
    dalandan, 1
    mangosteen jam, 1
    pinakbet, 5
    sinigang, 19
    inasal na manok, 1
    lechon, 27
    littuko, 1

    Aug 15, 2010 | 8:55 pm

  27. robinriyadh says:

    from riyadh using google on explorer:
    dalandan, 1
    mangosteen jam, 1
    pinakbet, 5
    sinigang, 20
    inasal na manok, 1
    lechon, 27
    littuko, 1

    Aug 15, 2010 | 10:37 pm

  28. GJO says:

    Here in UK using BT as my server provider:

    Dalandan – 1st
    Mangosteen Jam – 1st
    Pinakbet – 36th
    Sinigang – 23rd
    Inasal na manok – 1st
    Lechon – 26th
    Littuko – 1st

    Cheers, Gezel

    Aug 15, 2010 | 11:52 pm

  29. lalaine supan says:

    marketmanila.com is my google. my hubby made me laugh one day when while having breakfast, he asked me to search mm.com for a certain recipe. admit it i said, you are as much as i am a marketman fan! he promised to get me the infamous zubuchon the next time he’s in cebu.

    Aug 16, 2010 | 12:37 am

  30. atbnorge says:

    Here in Norway with Telenor:

    Mangosteen Jam – 1
    Rattan Fruit – 1
    Dalandan – 2
    Sinigang – 57 (but when I searched sinigang na baka, Marketmanila is on no. 8)
    Pinakbet – 8
    Inasal na Manok – 1 and finally…
    Lechon (Mr. Bourdain pipped you on the top 10 list; he’s on 7) – you are on 32

    Aug 16, 2010 | 2:16 am

  31. juli says:

    Here in Minneapolis Minnesota with USI wireless using Google on Firefox

    Mangosteen jam – 1
    Rattan fruit – 1
    dalandan – 1
    Sinigang – 15
    Pinakbet – 6
    Inasal na manok – 1
    Lechon – 23

    Aug 16, 2010 | 2:51 am

  32. Pia Alonzo says:

    We call this “arimuran” in Cagayan (Cagayan Valley).

    Aug 16, 2010 | 3:01 am

  33. Jade186 says:

    From Vienna using google search:

    dalandan – 1st
    mangosteen jam – 1st
    pinakbet – 5th
    sinigang – 22nd
    inasal na manok – 1st
    lechon – 30th
    littuko – 1st

    Aug 16, 2010 | 3:43 am

  34. EbbaBlue says:

    My folks came from Quezon Province and my aunt used to bring us these fruits from their farm. I think I had eaten it twice in my life and had not seen it or heard about it till I stumble the pictures in your site. I asked my other relatives from another part of Quezon, they do know about it, but have not seen it anywhere planted in their part of the region. I forgot how it taste. I think I am going to try to contact my sister in law and ask her if Manila Seedling have this for planting. I wanted to have this and Catmon in my farm.

    Aug 16, 2010 | 6:30 am

  35. hungrycurious says:

    There’s a really good article on rogue magazine about the Kalinga tattoo artist. Link here: http://www.rogue.ph/columns/entry/the_fading_art_of_fang/

    re the search results, i think it would differ if you use google.com or google.com.ph (for phil-based readers)

    Aug 16, 2010 | 1:31 pm

  36. Ma. Angela M. Abajar says:

    From Dubai using google search:

    dalandan – 1st
    mangosteen jam – 1st
    pinakbet – 14th
    sinigang – 128th
    inasal na manok – 1st
    lechon – 28th
    littuko – 1st

    Aug 16, 2010 | 5:32 pm

  37. kasseopeia says:

    Whoa… Rattan fruit brings back lots of memories. In high school, my classmates from Baguio would bring these and challenge us to eat a fruit whole (peeled, of course). I was always happy to oblige- with a few bits of sea salt.

    Googling from Manila, Philippines on Firefox:

    dalandan = 2nd
    mangosteen jam – 1st
    pinakbet – 12th
    sinigang – 20th
    inasal na manok – 1st
    lechon – 6th
    littuko – 1st

    Aug 16, 2010 | 8:31 pm

  38. Mari says:

    Using the same computer here but different search engines, the results are amazing how different the results are…

    In Long Island NY using Google on Mozilla Firefox:

    dalandan – 1
    mangosteen jam – 1 & 2
    lechon – 27 (Anthony Bourdain’s Heirarchy of Pork – 3)
    pinakbet – 8
    sinigang – 18
    inasal na manok – 1
    littuko – 1 & 2

    Using Bing on Internet Explorer:

    dalandan – 1
    mangosteen jam – 2 & 3
    lechon – 5 (Bourdain’s – 28)
    pinakbet – 11 & 15
    sinigang – 19
    inasal na manok – 1
    littuko – 2 & 5

    Aug 16, 2010 | 10:22 pm

  39. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Try going to Internet Options and then clearing your search history…you might get different results with the rankings.

    Aug 18, 2010 | 1:54 am

  40. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Okaaay…so I tried to experiment with clearing the search history and its pretty much inconclusive:

    Dalandan (1)
    Mangosteen Jam (1)
    Pinakbet (6)
    Sinigang (17)
    Inasal na Manok (1)
    Lechon (32)
    Littuko (1)

    Dalandan (1)
    Mangosteen Jam (1)
    Pinakbet (6)
    Sinigang (17)
    Insanal na Manok (1)
    Lechon (26)
    Littuko (1)

    The only noted change in ranking was for lechon. Go figure. As a side benefit though, the search for lechon yeiled an article featured in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB119075618625939123.html

    Not sure if you’ve seen it before, but interesting reading nonetheless.

    Aug 18, 2010 | 2:35 am

  41. Lars Krutak says:

    Hi Marketman!

    Good news!! My new book, co-authored by Kalinga elder Naty Sugguiyao of Tabuk, will be published in a few weeks. We hope to get it into bookstores in the Philippines (like National and Powerbooks) and you can already pre-order on amazon.com.

    So the final title is: “Kalinga Tattoo: Ancient and Modern Expressions of the Tribal” (Edition Reuss, Germany, 424pp, large format coffee table book). You are listed on the photographers page with your website, and Naty writes about the symbolism of snakefruit as a Kalinga tattoo symbol and its meaning. Actually, I included an entire chapter breaking down those symbols that comprise Kalinga tattooing motifs. Ultimately, snakefruit was chosen as a motif because it has an outer covering that protects the delicate fruit inside, much like tattooing was perceived as a protective covering for the skin that sheltered the delicate parts (e.g., organs) inside of it.


    Dr. Lars Krutak
    Washington, DC, USA

    Aug 20, 2010 | 2:56 am

  42. denise says:

    i think the search results vary mainly because of the different servers used for each region …

    i think i’ve seen rattan fruit used in flower arrangements

    Aug 20, 2010 | 3:53 am

  43. thepinaysolobackpacker says:

    cool, now I see the connection! :) I read somewhere that Krutak’s book is coming out this year? or was it last year? Hope I can get a glimpse of it, really interesting. anyway, since I saw my fellow anthropologist & archeologist girl friend photos last year with tattoos by the last female surviving tattoo artist in Kalinga, I wanted to see them myself. If not for the petty argument with the famed tour guide there over the phone, I would’ve seen it last year. Needless to say, I’m excited to finally be there soon! :)

    Jan 22, 2011 | 4:14 pm


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