Pomelos rank in my top 5 favorite fruits, ever. I have always liked them, but often lament the unpredictable quality of pulp within, and buying them is like joining lotto or at least a three number guessing game. Over the past year or so, we have been extremely fortunate, as our kamias/iba scout/supplier in Cebu seems to have a knack for picking out good pomelos some 85% of the time. I’ll take those odds over my track record ANY DAY. Whenever I am in Cebu, she tells me if there are pomelos available “at the docks” (they come from Davao or thereabouts), and I order a good dozen or two to take back to Manila. In the past two months, the pomelos have been wonderful, an early bounty of what normally seems like a pre-Christmas seasonal fruit in past years. At PHP50 per pomelo, and she makes money on that, they compare against pomelos in Manila groceries at PHP150 or more.
But perhaps the biggest surprise to many readers will be the unusual way we have taken to enjoying our pomelos. Take some peeled fruit, add on some sautéed bagoong or shrimp paste, and pop it in your mouth! The mother of a good friend taught us this treat over a decade ago, and it is absolutely delicious! I wrote about it in 2005, early in the life of this blog, so I figured I would bring it up again. Sweet and savory is not a new concept, and eating green mangoes with salt is obvious. So is duhat and guava with salt. Or green mango with bagoong. But I never thought to do pomelos and bagoong. When we lived in Jakarta, we always used to marvel at the afternoon snack (rujak) of sliced up mixed fruit (mango, papaya, singkamas, apples, etc. mixed with chilies and terasi or shrimp paste) that was the ultimate snack food. We were warned off from cooties in street food then so I didn’t partake often, but when we had the same dish in homes of friends, it was always a hit. The tartness and sweetness of the fruit mixed in with saltiness and chilies was a mouthful of yum. Hmm, come to think of it, I have never made that here in Manila and should. At any rate, the next time you get some good pomelos, remember to try them with some bagoong!