29 May2006

ajuice1

A short break from the European Trip posts to highlight what’s in the market now and should consider savoring at the peak of the season… This will be followed by a few local posts, then my entry to Lasang Pinoy 10 on Wednesday…then back to more European trip posts. There is a lot of santol in the market and in backyards at the moment (we just harvested 20-30 kilos from our small backyard tree last Friday) from the small sour varieties to the largest sweet Bangkok varieties. I have written about the fruit before, even had a post on santol jam which is the closest local conserve we have to membrillo or Spanish quince paste, but the easiest way to enjoy the santol bounty is in santol juice. When you have the fruit up the wazoo, peel them, chop a few throw them into a pitcher with water and some simple sugar syrup. Let this steep in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours and enjoy with lots of ice. I haven’t tried this, but it just occurred to me this might be nice if you add some tanglad (lemongrass) to the sugar syrup to add another layer of flavor… this is really easy and surprisingly tasty and refreshing.

Also in the markets now are huge fat duhat that will not last much longer. We also have a duhat tree in our backyard and we are already at the annoying stage when birds munch and steal the fruit and drop them as they fly away from the tree staining our terrace with huge splats of purple dye. Hmmm, this reminds me that I gave permission to a Polish researcher last year to use my duhat photos for a graduate thesis on how light refracted through different fruit dyes and juices…I wonder how that turned out. At any rate, buy a a kilo of duhat (which I have NEVER EVER seen in Western markets, by the way), wash well, put in a plastic bag and throw in some good rock salt and toss gently. Pour into a nice bowl and munch away… yum, definitely one of the benefits of living in a tropical country!

I also saw a lot of sineguelas in the market the other day. Not sure if this is the tail end of the season but take advantage of the summer fruit anyway. Particularly since the La Nina effect this year is forecast to be bringing buckets and buckets of rain in a wet season that threatens to submerge us all in floodwaters or at least suffer with mold spores. In Batangas, there is a bumper crop of Indian mangoes and they can be had roadside for just PHP8 a kilo. You can tell the finest Indian mangoes by the shape of the “butt” of the fruit (the stem end). If the stem is a little embedded or buried because the fruit bulges out, then that is a sign of a meaty and sweeter fruit. If the stem is the most prominent feature and the meat rolls down from there, you have purchased second rate specimens… at least that’s what the wise roadside women selling the mangoes directly under their trees tell me. With the bounty of Indian mangoes you can eat them peeled with bagoong (shrimp paste) or salt, brine them with a salt solution or cook them into a nice mango chutney that you can store for several months in the fridge. My daughter likes to buy a sack of them in Batangas (about 50 kilos for PHP200 or just PHP4 a kilo) and she re-sells them in front of our house in Manila for PHP10 a kilo to augment her weekly allowance…

So get out there and buy what’s in season! Support our local farmers! Stock up on Vitamin C to help ward off the flu in the rainy season up ahead! Please click on links indicated above for more details on each of the fruits that I have identified to be in the market at this time…thanks!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. anna gan says:

    enjoyed your santol juice post and have a pitcher in the fridge now : ) otherwise i enjoyed harvesting the fruit last weekend and giving it away to friends and a couple of officemates. i gotta learn how to make santol jam…should be an interesting pairing with lady’s choice or ludy’s peanut butter.

    May 29, 2006 | 4:18 pm

     
  2. Apicio says:

    But would you not agree that it is the aroma of santol that brings back memories of school yards damp with rain and it is the astringency of this fruit’s flesh that lends itself to jelling? I bet you just a little bit more reduction would have turned your santol jam into a paste much like the pasta de guaiaba or mimbre, the common denominator of all Latin American breakfasts served like butter patties here throughout the continent. And btw did you notice that the second word of its latin nomenclature is the basis of our ketchup?

    May 29, 2006 | 7:08 pm

     
  3. edna says:

    ahhh, sineguelas and duhat are summer fruits of my youth. my hometown is famous for its plump and juicy sineguleas. and tossed duhat with rock salt was just the way how my cousins and I would have them when we were kids. I suddenly want to go home…

    May 29, 2006 | 9:27 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    anna, the key to the jam is soaking the santol rinds in water for 2-3 days to remove the astringency before cooking it in sugar and water. I love santol jam, but you can only have so much of a good thing. It’s such a pain to make that you don’t see it for sale… I would happily pay PHP150 for a small jar of good santol jam and it would probably cost less than PHP10 in ingredients…now, but time and labor… Apicio, yes, the aroma is something most Pinoys can recognize blindfolded. The jam I make is close to membrillo, it even tastes good with hard Spanish cheese. And koetjape, hmmm, I only noticed now… Edna, funny how childhood and summer fruit memories are inextricable.

    May 30, 2006 | 5:39 am

     
  5. fried-neurons says:

    I used to love santol juice when I was a kid. My grandfather would sometimes buy santol by the bushel, and inevitably we would all get sick of eating it long before we can finish the entire lot, so the help would make santol juice (exactly how you described, by the way). It’s very refreshing and a nice alternative to soda and/or kalamansi juice.

    *btw, o/t: I can’t find my post about the Ferry Building Marketplace, either. Some of my posts disappeared into cyberspace heaven when I changed the look of my blog. This post must’ve been among those that are now in the Bermuda Triangle. If you want detailed info on the market, email me or something. :)

    May 30, 2006 | 7:07 am

     
  6. erleen says:

    has anyone tried Burong Santol?

    a friend of my dad used to give us bottles of burong santol. it is the meat part of the santol grated finely and is treated in a way that it is not even bitter. my dad will then cook it with gata and bagoong with pieces of pork. tastes much like laing but finer in texture.

    I much prefer this than laing.

    May 30, 2006 | 10:57 am

     
  7. erleen says:

    oops…seems I was wrong.

    it seems Burong Santol is different…did some searching and some call it Sinantolan.

    hee hee.

    May 30, 2006 | 11:04 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    erleen, I have a recipe for a Bicolano style santol dish with gata in my archives…might be what you are looking for!

    May 30, 2006 | 11:15 am

     
  9. CecileJ says:

    Erleen, I love sinantolan! I don’t know how to cook it (seems like a lot of work) but my hubby buys it for me at the FTI weekend market. Cooked, spicy and ready to eat with hot rice!!! Yummm!

    May 30, 2006 | 1:12 pm

     
  10. lee says:

    santol juice absolutely rocks! so subtle and so refreshing.

    May 30, 2006 | 1:47 pm

     
  11. noemi says:

    I’m jealous. Those are my favorites from my childhood years.

    May 31, 2006 | 3:00 am

     
  12. tin says:

    oooh i love sinantolan! the one with gata and bagoong yuuum… i have had the benefit of having bicolano friends who know how to cook this which i so enjoy during santol season. to me it tastes like bicol express sans the meat. quite a treat if you’re into spicy food =)

    May 31, 2006 | 8:52 pm

     
  13. let says:

    Marketman,
    I was wondering if i can have a recipe of sinantolan. Thanks.

    Jul 4, 2009 | 8:38 pm

     
 

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