01 Sep2007


Water Buffalo Nipples. No, get serious Marketman. I was at the markets this morning and ran across one of the farmer/vendor stalls that always has interesting organically raised fruits and veggies… and they had a small basket of these attractive, larger than olive sized fruits in a bright orange red. Curious, I asked the lady in the stall what they were, to which she smiled broadly and said “Ay, susu ng kalabaw…” (Oh, those are carbao teats) to which I must have looked a bit disoriented, and she added “Masarap, maasim na matamis” (they are tasty, sour and sweet). I have NEVER seen these before and I most certainly would have remembered the name if I had. I have never seen a carabao’s teats up close so I am guessing they are bright reddish orange.


A bit of googling, a bit of sleuthing through my reference books and a bit of interviewing my crew and most agree they haven’t seen these before, but some acknowledge that these are plentiful in their home province but they haven’t eaten them. So what are they? I don’t know. I don’t even know what their scientific name is or if they have an English name. I don’t even know how to eat them… firm or soft? peeled or whole? fresh or cooked? So I am posting these photos in the hope that some Marketmanila readers will clue me in. Any bright ideas, I am sure the rest of Marketmanila’s regulars would appreciate your input… Thanks!



  1. RobKSA says:

    I’ve seen this while growing up in Romblon. It’s a fruit but can’t recall what it’s called.

    Sep 1, 2007 | 6:29 pm


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  3. ntgerald says:

    Is it from a vine? When plucked and thence pressed, do the pulp and seeds ooze out from the base of the fruit, one sweet and slightly sourish-tart goo?

    Maybe it would help if you show us an opened specimen.

    Sep 1, 2007 | 6:31 pm

  4. sonia says:

    the name must have originated from bulacan. i first heard it there as a young child, and i have never heard it again until i read your blog

    Sep 1, 2007 | 6:36 pm

  5. Gerri says:

    Accdg to my Mother Goose, she ate this fruit while growing up in Batangas. What she does is, chop off a small portion on the end or top of the fruit and suck its flesh and juice so it should be quite soft. Per Nanay it should have the consistency of a very ripe star apple/kaimito. It should taste quite sweet.

    Sep 1, 2007 | 6:51 pm

  6. DADD-F says:

    MM, I love your plate, platter, bowl, whatever it is.

    Sep 1, 2007 | 7:50 pm

  7. Apicio says:

    These were sold in bunches close to the playground of my primary school by wives of farmers who gathered them in the wild (from vines or desiduous trees I know not). If you have opened a passion fruit with its tiny black seeds enveloped in slippery gelatinous pulp, this is how exactly the interior of these wild fruit look like but they are more often sour than sweet (actually, I’d say hardly ever sweet) and do not offer any distinct flavour at all. To eat it, you bite a tiny opening on one end and kind of press the other end to squeeze out the pulp into your mouth. Oh, the local name did not raise any eye-brows one bit in a time and place where nursing mothers attended to feeding time so nonchalantly in public.

    Sep 1, 2007 | 8:54 pm

  8. MegaMom says:

    I’ve never seen these, although the color and waxy rind (or so it appears to be) remind me of persimmons. So what does it taste like? Gerri, do these things grow in trees?

    Sep 1, 2007 | 8:56 pm

  9. Apicio says:

    Just found in the first volume of Philippine Heritage, page 246 ANNONACEAE Uvaria rufe (Blume) Susong-kalabao This small tree is found everywhere from Northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao.

    MegaMom, I don’t remember the skin as waxy, it was rather velvety or my memory is playing tricks again.

    Sep 1, 2007 | 9:29 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    Apicio, THANK YOU, you nailed the scientific name and I have spent a good 20-30 minutes reading up on this from internet sources… My books on Philippine fruit are mum on it! Megamom, will taste it tomorrow and post a comment… DADD-F, thanks, it is a limoges porcelain bowl which has a marquetry pattern on it… I thought the fruits on the lip of the bowl were a possible dead ringer for the Susong Kalabaw… Gerri, thanks, I will taste it tomorrow; it seems to come from the same family of fruits as Guyabano and atis so I am expecting a milky sweetish/sour consistency/taste. sonia, it seems quite common throughout the archipelago in provincial areas, so I am not sure where the name was coined. ntgerald, will post what it tastes like tomorrow… RobKSA, gosh, I now have it from Ilocos to Bulacan, Romblon to Palawan…

    Sep 1, 2007 | 10:53 pm

  11. ntgerald says:

    Apicio, if the fruits are what I think they are, then they should be more sweet than sour. Maybe they were not fully ripe hence the sourness.

    I do remember the skin having very fine short “hair”, giving it a velvety look.

    Sep 2, 2007 | 6:35 am

  12. danney league says:

    Hello Folks,

    Look at the quality of that fruit. Amazing color and firmness. We have that in Laguna and call it susong kalabaw. Suddenly it ring a bell!! Hey, maybe someone will propagate and produce it into mass production. We can create something out of it. Another great idea came into mind:

    a) we can use it as a side dish for salad.
    b) we can add it to vegetable salad
    c) we can create a dish out of it.
    d) we can extract it and use it as a sauce
    e) we can extract it and create it into a juice
    f) maybe it has a medicinal value

    Anything is possible. Thanks to MarketManila

    Sep 2, 2007 | 6:52 am

  13. MegaMom says:

    Wow, Apicio, that is great! My interest is piqued….One more thing, MarketMan, I am so very curious about this now, was this at Market! Market! where you found these? Will try to get some if I can (when I return to ‘Pinas in a few days)… Gerri, do you know if these can still be had in markets in Batangas?

    MM, I think your choice of platter to put it in was not an accident. :) The pattern in the top photo seems to show a bunch of apricots in the forefront, which I guess resembles this fruit in some aspects of its appearance (velvety skin…).

    And finally, it seems you are in the right track re: your diet – a series of postings on interesting fruits and vegetables, should (momentarily) replace those of bagnet et al.

    Sep 2, 2007 | 7:06 am

  14. Apicio says:

    Ntgerald, you might be right in that I might have bought the unripe ones or maybe fruits of a tree that bore fruits that never turned sweet no matter how ripe they were that formed my whole impression of them but unlike the bignay, duhat, kasuy and santol that we actually picked, we remembered from season to season which trees were the sweet ones.

    Sep 2, 2007 | 7:09 am

  15. annette says:

    Ah ha! Thats what Ive been telling my friends, when I told them that my Lola was bringing me some susung kalabaw they always laughed at me . . .boo hoo! Thanks Mr. MM for posting an entry bout it and Im gonna show them that there is really a fruit like susung kalabaw!

    Sep 2, 2007 | 8:32 am

  16. Edik says:

    we used to eat susong kalabaw (we call it in bohol as “susog kabaw”) when i was in my younger days. the fruit is yummy. but i haven’t seen those fruits again. just like the vanilla bushes that used to grow just anywhere in my hometown. now they were gone or rarely seen.

    Sep 2, 2007 | 5:04 pm

  17. DADD-F says:

    MM, you will have to educate me. What is “limogenes” (the artist? place of origin? design????) and “marquetry pattern”? Pattern, I understand. Marquetry?

    Sep 2, 2007 | 5:33 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    Hi DADD-F, Limoges is a town in France known for their porcelain and ceramics, dating back eons. They make everything from restaurant quality plates and bowls to really fine china. Marquetry is the use of cutouts like of different colored woods or marble and put together to create a design. The bowl above mimics or copies the concept of a stone marquetry…

    Sep 2, 2007 | 6:31 pm

  19. lee says:

    Have not seen neither the fruit nor the carabao nipple yet but i would gladly have a bite… of the fruit and not the nipple.

    Sep 3, 2007 | 9:33 am

  20. DADD-F says:

    Maayong buntag MM! Salamat diay for enlightening me on this subject. This is just one of the many things I like about your blog, not just the wonderful recipes, but also the fantastic e-tour you give us and for making me a little bit more refined each time. Hahaha…seriously, somehow, I also feel the world opening up to me bit by bit.

    I do have a lot of knick-knacks at home, some weird, some simply marvelous (by my standards anyway)obtained during my Pinas trotting years–plus a few countries in-between. Anyway, I just enjoy going back to this post looking at this new-found fruit (for me) resting sublimely on such an exquisite porcelain bowl.

    Hi everyone, have a nice day!

    Sep 3, 2007 | 10:12 am

  21. Lou says:

    Another new fruit to try! Thanks MM for bringing that fruit out in the open. I’m sure you’ll dig up more fruits that are unknown to most of us in name or in taste. I’m looking forward to more “educational” weird fruit with a weird name in your future posts. The name carabao teats is rather very imaginative but make a lot of sense when you look at the fruit. Ahhh, the Filipino ingenuity in naming things…
    And I love those Limoges plates!

    Sep 5, 2007 | 10:48 pm

  22. kulasa says:

    Geez, haven’t been reading since the start of the month and I see this. I’ve eaten this as a kid and my mom did call it Susong Kalabao. Some were sweet though and it did taste like star apple. You really bring back memories MM. Thanks for the post.

    Sep 7, 2007 | 8:55 am

  23. Brownedgnat says:

    MM–You just made my day. How could I have missed this post? This is something I have reminisced over the years and never thought I’ll see this fruit again. To know that it thrives in PI gives me so much pleasure. This fruit was just as ubiquitous as guava and duhat growing up in Cavite. I remember it to be sour and sweet and gelatinous. This fruit conjures up memories. I vividly remember my grandfather coming home with a branch over his shoulder teeming with red, succulent treats. Thank you for bringing back pleasant memories!

    Oct 11, 2007 | 4:16 am

  24. arlene says:

    we have this kind of fruit in our province in ilocos sur, we call this “ALLAGAT” only found in the forest of Bantay Abot, and its good, i tasted it already.hehe!

    Sep 23, 2008 | 5:32 pm

  25. Arnel says:

    In Pangasinan we call it “Al-lagat”. The one shown in the picture is still manibalang. The ripe one usually has a darker red color and it taste sweeter because the manibalang one taste sour. It is eaten raw but not the skin. You can eat it in a way like eating an ice candy.

    Jun 15, 2009 | 3:01 pm

  26. margie says:

    oh yes! it is allagat and i remember we would go to the forest to get these (back when we were kids in santa, ilocos sur)

    Aug 23, 2009 | 4:26 pm

  27. edwin lico inlayo says:

    meron din nito sa antipolo, rizal way back 1970s.wala na rin akong makita sa bundok na antipolo. kalbo na ang bundok. susong kalabaw din tawag sa antipolo, sinisipsip ang mga buto na parang mlalambot na buto na papaya. parang jelly. di kinakain ang balat

    Sep 11, 2009 | 4:41 pm


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