12 Apr2011

One of my pet peeves is when vendors sell produce and intentionally or unintentionally mislabel or misrepresent what they are selling. Dayap is a great example. Just a few days ago I saw a huge box of green citrus at the Salcedo market with a sign claiming it was “dayap”. I always purchase any and all real dayap I find in the markets because it is so useful in our kitchen and it is rarely available. It lasts several weeks in the vegetable drawer of a fridge, so I hoard it. On closer inspection, they looked like green lemons, and one surface scratch to the skin and that distinctly lemony aroma emerged, NOT DAYAP. I don’t bother to confront/correct vendors anymore, because I have recorded a litany of the stupidest retorts when I challenge their labelling. The best I can recall is “dayap yan sir, kaya nga green yung balat!” (those are limes, sir, because the skin is green) to which I say, “have you ever seen an unripe lemon, orange or pomelo? what color do you think they are?” and they get busy with something else in their stalls…

Recently, almost all folks purporting to be selling “Sagada oranges” are simply lying. Folks from Sagada say their oranges, while spectacular, are limited in quantity and often, actually have a bit of green on their skins, not the intensely orange color often associated with the “Sagada oranges” in the stores/stalls in Manila. I don’t understand why they just don’t admit they are premium Chinese oranges… what’s the deal with that? Even I have been bamboozled on Sagada oranges in the past, but no more. And a note to restaurants starting to claim “Sagada oranges” as part of dishes described on their menus, I suggest they do some serious checking with their suppliers. Finally, the poor “real” siling labuyo. This “native’ or localized version of the typical small asian chili like bird’s eye, etc., used to be everywhere. Today, it is incredibly difficult to find what used to be called “siling labuyo.”

I wrote my first post on sili and siling labuyo over 6 years ago, here, and it’s worth reading if you haven’t come across it before. As I mention in that post, “labuyo” refers to wild, as in wild chilies. Over the centuries, I suspect the chilies evolved and got smaller and smaller as they were propagated across the archipelago. I had other related chili posts here and here. Some great chili photos, here.

I found some classic siling labuyo from one of my sukis at the market last weekend. So I bought everything she had, 25 little plastic bags for PHP10 each. Will bring the bags back to her, what a huge amount of packaging for something so small. Actually, the price was exorbitant, but I closed my eyes and paid it so I could dry the entire batch and store some seeds for planting in Cebu. Notice how much smaller the labuyo is compared to the Taiwanese or Thai chili invaders that have overwhelmed the old labuyo by 20:1 it seems in local markets and groceries!

I spread all of my chilies on a baking sheet and dried them under the hot sun for 2.5-3.0 days (put them indoors at night) until they had very little moisture left. They look fabulous. And they will be a great ingredient for dishes in the months ahead. But best of all, I think I have more than enough seeds for a while…

You cannot imagine how many inquiries I field per month from folks who live abroad that want “real” labuyo seeds. So much so that I hope to find a good source and will dry more chilies to be sold in our Zubuchon outlets so that folks visiting Cebu can take the seeds back to their foreign homes and try to cultivate their own bushes in their vegetable gardens. If they don’t grow, they can always cook with the chilies. Given the ridiculous cost of the fresh labuyo, and the dramatic shrinkage after three days of drying, my current stash of dried labuyo is like spicy gold. They proudly sit next to bottles of saffron and other pricey spices in our pantry. :)

The next time you buy small red chilies and think you are getting “labuyo”… think again. If you are a chili fiend, you might want to check out these posts with chilies:

Lechon Dinuguan
Daing na Bangus
Sayote Fries a la Wynn Wynn Ong
Grilled Squid Salad
Five Roasted Pork Bellies
Spicy Baby Octopus Stew
Silly Sili Chili Chilies Contest
Fried Tanguigue with Thai Sauce
Kinilaw a la Victor
Thai Pomelo Salad
Thai Green Papaya Salad
Guinamos Sinabado
Lechon Sisig
Prawns in Alavar Sauce
Lubi-Lubi
Boiled Saba with Bagoong and Sili Dip
Chile Con Carne
Santol at Sugpo sa Gata
Mustasa Salad
Laing in Two Ways (Taro Leaves in Coconut Milk with Chillies)
Homemade Chilli Vinegar
Chilli Crabs a la Marketman (a signature dish of the Marketman household)
Kinilaw na Dilis (Anchovy Seviche)
Spicy Fried Garlic Peanuts
Spicy Eggplant a la Marketman (Excellent, easy and economical)
Mustasa Salad with Bagoong & Kalamansi Dressing
Kaang Daeng / Red Thai Curry
Kinilaw na Malasugi
Mussels with Black Beans a la Ming Tsai
Fresh Sambal / The Ultimate Crushed Chilli Dipping Sauce
Sili in your Favorite Sawsawan

 

COMMENTS:

  1. emsy says:

    in zamboanga, whenever you buy sili, they would always sell you labuyo. you had to specify “siling haba” or “siling pansigang” if you wanted something other than labuyo. i actually found it weird when practically all the sili here in manila tend to be the bigger (and sometimes not at all spicy) ones.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:04 am

     
  2. zena says:

    When cheap and abundant, we make our own chili garlic in olive oil and it is sooo darn spicy! A little goes a long, long way. But so good. =)

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:06 am

     
  3. Elmo says:

    We have several labuyo plants around our house in Davao, they grow like weeds there probably owing to the fertile soil. I always ask my parents to bring a big plastic bag of these when they visit us. Unforunately, I can’t seem to make them grow here in Manila (and I have no idea why), I’ve tried to grow them in pots, bought different soil types, etc. I hope I can successfully propagate them as it would be a shame for the siling labuyo to become an endangered specie.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:09 am

     
  4. Robin says:

    all i see in groceries now is the big Taiwan sili.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:30 am

     
  5. Gerry says:

    The difference between the labuyo and the thai chili is quite obvious, but I think that Filipinos in general would prefer the milder heat of the latter. Aside from Bicolanos, we are wimps when it comes to heat tolerance. This explains why Thai food here is so much milder than what you would get in Bangkok.

    As for the green lemon – dayap debate, I do agree that the green lemons do actually taste like yellow lemons. It’s very hard to tell the difference. However I’ve noticed that instead of turning yellow when it ripens, it actually gets a bit orangey, which leads me to believe that it’s a different variety from the yellow lemon.

    Can I ask where to get the real dayap? They don’t have it in Farmer’s Market. They only have the green lemons, which they call limes but hesitate in claiming them to be true dayaps.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:32 am

     
  6. ging says:

    MM, lots of sili labuyo in carbon. price range from 150-200/kg. bought 1/2 kilo last sunday and made into chili sauce.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:35 am

     
  7. Marketman says:

    ging, yes, I am going to start drying them and selling them to balikbayans who CONSTANTLY ask me for seeds. They can use them in dishes and to plant. Prices in carbon at PHP200 a kilo are a steal, it’s closer to PHP800+ in Manila, if you can find it. Gerry, the smell of a lemon and a lime are totally different, hence my comment that one needs to just scratch the skins to know… as for dayap availability, it’s wicked hard to find it on a regular basis. But bizarrely, S&R has “key limes” that are actually very closely related to dayaps, but are raised in Florida. Whenever I find real dayaps in markets, I uy as much as I can. Oh, and as for vendors saying green lemons are limes, they are simply wrong… its not the color of the skin that determines what it is, smell and taste give that away pretty easily. Robin, yes, the larger sili seem to be more commercially viable. But we lose a little of our food heritage every single day we allow easy commercial substitutions for traditional ingredients and dishes… :( Elmo, yes, real labuyo still available in provinces, but not so much in Metro-Manila, it seems… We grow them in our garden but they tend to die at certain times of the year… zena, hmmm… haven’t made chili oil in a while, good idea. :) We make tons of chili vinegar that gets spicier as time goes by… Emsy, even among labuyos, the range of “spiciness” can be quite variable, but yes, the bigger ones do seem to be less spicy…

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:51 am

     
  8. ness says:

    MM, siling labuyo is very easy to grow. Oftentimes, in our yard, chili plants would crop up (thanks to the birds). It’s very convenient to have them around, esp when one needs to cook tinola or to add zing to a dish. The only bad side is that you have to compete with the birds when harvesting red chilis.

    Dayap is so difficult to find. I’ve never seen it in supermarkets in the metro… If you plant it naman, it will take some time before it bears fruit even though it’s full grown already. I don’t know why..

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:02 am

     
  9. millet says:

    that’s so true, we’ve been ruing the absence of real siling labuyo in the markets. endangered species na? and you’re right, the bigger pseudo-labuyo just doesn’t cut it.

    have tried growing siling labuyo but have been unsuccessful, while the next door neighbor’s labuyo bushes are heavy with fruit! i wonder what i’m doing wrong? also, i find that ants love chili peppers of all kinds!

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:11 am

     
  10. cha says:

    OMG, those are true siling labuyo! I grew up in Gubat, Sorsogon where this kind of chili is available in most backyards. Old folks would just threw the seeds into the soil and they’ll survive on their own. The abundance was unnoticed until I came here in Manila that I rarely see siling labuyo in the market, not even in Divisoria! Tsk!
    Btw, the leaves of siling labuyo is best with stingray or mantay ray in coconut milk! :)

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:32 am

     
  11. Footloose says:

    If your supply of dayap is fitful, try grabbing a set of Boyajian citrus oil next time you’re here. They come in a set of three flavors, orange, lemon and lime and loose ones such as tangerine and grapefruit. I think this set I have will last me the rest of my life. Virtually indistinguishable from the grated rind of the fresh fruit and quite concentrated too, I use a medicine dropper to dole out three drops for your leche flan recipe.

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/citrus-oil-set-orange-lemon-lime-1-oz

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:41 am

     
  12. Kat says:

    My dad loves his siling labuyo. Every condiment he uses has that, which is a problem for the rest of the family who do not like their condiments as hot. It grows wild in our farm in Zambales, and in the most odd places. When dad asks us to get some, he’d point us to a particular bush and say “Dun ang pinakamaanghang.” Although I think that the bushes die after a certain period, because sometimes we’d get from a different location.

    I have yet to really see dayap. The first thing I remember when I hear “dayap” is Florante and Laura. :)

    Apr 12, 2011 | 10:10 am

     
  13. Johanna says:

    How do you use the dried siling labuyo? Do you grind and use as powder or just use them the way you would use the fresh ones? I would imagine they’re much more potent dried?

    Apr 12, 2011 | 10:55 am

     
  14. Junb says:

    Malay and Indian stores in the markets here in Singapore do sell real dayap, kaffir lime and leaves as well as silting labuyo. Just wondering if it’s easier for Manila to get their goods in china or Taiwan rather than neighboring provinces

    Apr 12, 2011 | 11:00 am

     
  15. Junb says:

    Here’s a good read for siling labuyo
    http://www.stuartxchange.org/SilingLabuyo.html

    Apr 12, 2011 | 1:01 pm

     
  16. cris says:

    I would have argued with the vendors about dayap- totally different from lemon and lime… we used to play with them while my aunts and lola made maja a.k.a tibok -tibok

    If you were to visit Pampanga, I’m sure you would find them in the market.

    I enjoy reading your blog… although it’s first time to post a comment.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 1:34 pm

     
  17. Jeg says:

    One of the most egregious examples of mislabeling is calling a catfish a dory. A *cream* dory. Pangasius arent dories. I thought they were real dories before so I bought some because they were so cheap for a dory, but I found out later theyre catfish. Whu dont they just label it ‘giant hito’ or something?

    Apr 12, 2011 | 1:42 pm

     
  18. Vanessa says:

    Sad to hear that siling labuyo is disappearing from our markets. My family has always gotten ours from generous plants in our backyard. Moving abroad, my sister took seeds with her. I think more people should be aware that the sili they find in the supermarkets is not THE siling labuyo they know, and yes, should try to support our local fiery sili.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 2:29 pm

     
  19. atbnorge says:

    Oh gosh, I know the smell of dayap from memory. It’s one of the loveliest scents from the citrus family…We grew up picking our own siling labuyo from a bush in our small farm or somebody else’s backyard. They were really small and Father used to have 5 pcs. of them in his sawsawang suka. I feel sad for its fate, like my favourite childhood sour fruit bignay that’s near to extinction (or is already extinct?).

    Apr 12, 2011 | 2:46 pm

     
  20. Kron says:

    I’ve been wondering these past years living in Manila why the sawsawans I make with chili in them don’t taste the same as compared to the ones I make/made back in the province… And I realized the culprit was the chili themselves. Those Taiwanese hybrids aren’t only milder heatwise; they’re also very bland and lack the bright fruity taste of the real labuyo. Hhhmm. Maybe someone could source seeds/seedlings of authentic labuyo, grow them in a nursery and make a killing selling the plants or fruits themselves…Heck, I’ll do that if I had the space, time or money. :p

    Apr 12, 2011 | 3:32 pm

     
  21. ka_fredo says:

    They usually sprout unannounced in our small patch of dirt behind the house. There’s an old tree nearby of indeterminate species that house a few birds. I guess they’re the ones spreading the seeds. Sometimes the labuyo lasts a month, sometimes it gets mauled by our dogs. I know these are labuyo because of the size of the fruit.
    Ill check this weekend if there are some available at the Zapote market.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 3:53 pm

     
  22. tipat says:

    We have several siling labuyo plants growing in our garden. But as Ness mentioned, you need to be quick in picking out the red ones before the birds beat you to it. My mom tried covering the plat with those nets she uses for the orchids but the plant died after a week or so.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 4:34 pm

     
  23. Marichu says:

    I find that it’s the same here in Hawaii. Farmer’s market stalls with filipino vegetables sell the larger chilies. I have a hard time finding siling labuyo from the vendors, even Filipino grocery stores. But my mom has a friend who has tons of siling labuyo plants so we got about 7 or 8 of the plants and potted them for our own use.
    And I’ve never smelled/used dayap before so is there anywhere in the Philippines where all of these native produces are housed and we can experience them? Kind of like a museum?

    Apr 12, 2011 | 6:05 pm

     
  24. erleen says:

    I had an experience where a vendor incorrectly labeled her produce “calamansi”. I was thinking “uy, mura na tapos malalaki pa.” Yun pala, bubot na dalandan yun. tsk. tsk. Hindi na ako bumili.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 7:36 pm

     
  25. moni says:

    MM, about the “Sagada oranges” sold in Salcedo Market, I have long ago discovered that those are navel oranges from China. There are many roadside vendors in Divisoria with a sign in their kariton, “Sagada orange”. In La Trinidad, Benguet, the Sagada oranges sold are in limited quantities so how could they be in ample supply in Divisoria? Alas, those oranges are sourced from China via Sto. Cristo St.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:17 pm

     
  26. grace says:

    It is sad that siling labuyo appear to be disappearing – it is still available in mostly rural areas though even there they see to favor the thai chilis – i guess since its bigger there’s lesser chance of you swallowing one in your dipping sauce.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 8:40 pm

     
  27. ntgerald says:

    In my farm in Amadeo, siling labuyo shrubs grow wild, abundantly. Actually, not only the labuyo type of small sili, even the decorative small sili, too. Birds peck on them all the time, so I guess they are the major reason for dispersal of siling labuyo.
    Its great to have them there. Tinolang manok is divine with newly picked sili leaves, with papaya that grows there, too. Pati ginger, I have a small ginger patch.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:17 pm

     
  28. Gem says:

    MM I know the feeling of frustration when trying to find native produce. I still have a difficult time finding a decent supply of dayap ( I like putting it in shakes and plan to put them in curd). A lot of vendors in tagaytay sell “dayap” plants. I’m surprised about the bird’s eye chili though, in my province there seems to be a pretty good supply.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:46 pm

     
  29. tonceq says:

    Like everyone else who preceeded my comment, Siling Labuyo easily grows in our province (somewhere up north)… My grandmother would simply throw them anywhere and sooner or later you’d find some sprouting in our backyard! But as Marketman reiterates, the plant of the Dayap itself is so hard to find that I have only seen it once (in our province) and the owner does not even seem to be aware that it is the much sought after citrus fruit which tempts me to actually just ask for it if only I were that familiar with them! (I’ve also tried growing the seeds from the fruits that I have obtained to no avail)Maybe next time I go home! :)

    Apr 12, 2011 | 9:55 pm

     
  30. traci says:

    MM, there are still a lot of native chillies about.. only you see them in home gardens. I don’t know of anyone who cultivates them commercially though. Might that be the reason they’re getting rarer?

    Apr 12, 2011 | 10:16 pm

     
  31. Footloose says:

    Isn’t it to lessen annoying exchanges such as you mentioned that one tries to develop and nurture a suki relationship with certain sellers but as is often the case it turns out that the vendor who is a stranger to you that often holds the desirable and rare merchandize you seek that is the most stubborn and hardest nut to crack.

    Btw, I was hesitantly holding the peel of six Cara cara oranges that are so handsome in color and thickness I just did not have the heart to throw in the compost bin. I candied them instead but not before going back on your two posts about the process first. Turned out nicely glossy anyway so I skipped the sugar coating. Will soak them in rum to soften a bit for inclusion in a simnel cake and hot cross buns I am baking for Easter.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 10:26 pm

     
  32. Risa says:

    Jeg, “Dory” is more of a commercial labeling since a lot of people do not eat catfish or mudfish because they are bottom feeders or do not have scales (non-Kosher). Same with the Chilean Sea Bass popular in the previous decade– it’s apparently neither Chilean, nor is a sea bass. (Can you say Patagonioan Toothfish?) It probably needed a name makeover because “Toothfish” doesnt sound appetizing and it was one ugly ass fish, haha).

    I think the dayap issue is compounded by a common assumption that DAYAP is the Filipino translation for lemon or lime, and may be used generically since obviously lemons/limes are not kalamansi. (At least this was how I thought it was.)

    I used to have a purple sili plant that bore ovaloid purple fruit that turned greenish white, yellow, red orange to deep red as they ripened. My mom cautioned me not to touch the fruit, but I wondered if they were actually hot.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 10:56 pm

     
  33. billy says:

    Hi Marketman, I visit your blog everyday but seldom make comments. But this time, I just wonder if giving seeds to Balikbayans which they bring into a foreign border is legal. I’m not a lawyer, so perhaps it is ok. And siling labuyo probably does not propagate too well to become an invading specie. I for one would want such a plant out on my deck here in the US, not only for the fruit but also for the leaves. Still, a careful reading of what can be brought into a country legally would be a wise thing to do for all Balikbayans before they actually get scrutinized in customs. Although, perhaps the worst that can happen is that the seeds get dumped in the trash together with the chicharon. :-)

    Apr 12, 2011 | 11:15 pm

     
  34. Scramoodles says:

    Try as i might to find these babies, i can’t. One of the few places i would find them growing wild was in up los banos campus. And they were growing bottom side up, the fruit standing up and gazing at the sun while other varieties do otherwise. I want to have these as well. I hope i run into some luck and find some of these soon. You are sooo lucky mm!

    Apr 13, 2011 | 12:05 am

     
  35. mommy says:

    Hi MM,
    We really miss the siling labuyo. The one being sold in oriental stores these days are the frozen taiwan sili.
    I remember we has a siling labuyo plant in our garden back in Manila. Nothing beats our Labuyo.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 12:52 am

     
  36. MParedes says:

    Hi Billy, I have tried sneaking in dried sili leaves into the US some 2 years back. The Customs Officer saw it but didn’t make a big fuss when he learned that they were dry. They are more concerned about bringing in pork or any food item that has pork derivates in them. I think only Aussie Customs are very, very strict about bringing any type of food into the country. Anything fresh or dried is strictly prohibited, even fresh fruits from the plane!

    Apr 13, 2011 | 1:11 am

     
  37. Meg says:

    I dry these sili when abundant, then crush them into almost powdery consistency, good for one whole year of supply. But one should be careful about having wild birds transport the seeds and feed on the sili plant, these birds are often carriers of major diseases, it is risky.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 1:47 am

     
  38. Chris Davis says:

    Now that I am all grown up and far away, I realize how much I was blessed with growing up, and I guess, how much I took it for granted. We had an assortment of fruit trees and fresh herbs and veggies and flowers growing up. I remember the dayap especially because on occassion, the manghihilot would come to the house to ask permission to gather the leaves. When I was about 5 or so, there was a siling labuyo plant that sprouted behind the house (they were all over the place) and I saw that it had quite a few ripe pods ready. I picked them and placed them in my back shorts pocket, meaning to take them to the kitchen to my lola but got distracted. An hour or so of playing piko, tag, climbing trees, the sili breaks down and the juices seep through the fabric and gives your hiney a not too subtle reminder of their presence. I have since treated all chiles with respect since!

    Apr 13, 2011 | 4:49 am

     
  39. ntgerald says:

    I think native lime dayap is more commonly known as biasong in the Visayas and Mindanao.

    See: http://www.indi-journal.info/?s=biasong.

    I have 30 small biasong plants in the farm; seedlings that were bought from a friend in Antipolo.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 5:23 am

     
  40. mayz says:

    i sooo feel your dayap peeve. i love dayap and hate when vendors insist that what they’re selling is the real thing and not a green lemon. have they never had their hands on the real thing?

    incidentally — why is it that there is so little to be had of the stuff these days? it’s so frustrating considering that we have the right climate for it?

    in desperation, i’ve been trying to grow a dayap plant (the scratch ‘n’ sniff test verified it IS) — any tips on tending it?

    Apr 13, 2011 | 5:39 am

     
  41. cumin says:

    I get my dayap from Tess, my friendly Bulakena suki in Centris who also sells kesong puti. Tess says there are times of the year when dayap is either not available or too expensive; I’m not sure why that is so. Does the lime plant not bear fruit all year round? Strange that limes are so difficult to find here, when these are standard kitchen items in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I remember sneaking in a bagful of limes once from Cambodia :-) Silly vendors unable to tell the difference between lime and lemon, they’re so different.

    Siling labuyo (kulikot in Cebuano) I have never tried to plant, but they always seem to sprout in odd places of my mother’s garden, sometimes right beside the orchids.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 7:36 am

     
  42. maria says:

    They’re quite easy to grow and my backyard garden is peppered with these beautiful flaming colors. Aside from being a good spice in cooking and making sinamak, we use them as a pesticide for homegrown veggies: pounded and mixed with the foam from Perla soap and some water, then spray on plants to ward off pests. (Just make sure to use gloves when you pounding!)

    Apr 13, 2011 | 7:56 am

     
  43. joe says:

    I still see dayap in Pampanga and Bulacan markets. I think they use that in leche flan, milk candies and buko sherbets but I have not eaten nor seen a mabolo fruit the past 20 years.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 8:54 am

     
  44. Fatcat says:

    Ah, planted them in a pot, can’t get them to grow big and bear fruit…what’s the secret? anyway the dogs like eating the leaves…

    Apr 13, 2011 | 11:19 am

     
  45. Fatcat says:

    About the dayap…we have a vegetable store and yes I must admit local markets refer to the green lemons as dayap…in our store they just sit next to the yellow lemons….no dayap labels….

    Apr 13, 2011 | 11:42 am

     
  46. Toping says:

    I expect you had to keep an eye on those chilies while they were drying, given the unexpected rains this La Niña season. :-) There’s a vacant lot near the house overrun by wild chilies, courtesy of the local avian population who can’t get enough of ‘em, so I’m never out of chilies. I must admit that I’ve never been into them until fairly recently, when a Thai friend introduced me to his homemade chili sauce, which he makes with an insane amount of pounded chilies, plus vinegar and sugar. Yum!

    Apr 13, 2011 | 12:31 pm

     
  47. Aji says:

    We have a “labuyo” plant at home and we get a lot of chilies during summer. I wonder what variety my mom planted. I must do a comparative test.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 1:08 pm

     
  48. philip says:

    Samin sa batangas madami pa siling labuyo. halos lahat ata ng bahay ay meron nakatanim. hinihingi lang.

    Apr 13, 2011 | 2:23 pm

     
  49. jo says:

    wow, how delicious they appear! i am a labuyo-eating monster. My male officemates would smile in awe and disbelief when they see me crushed 5 or more labuyo in my saw-sawan or soap=)

    Apr 13, 2011 | 6:08 pm

     
  50. Sands says:

    Thanks for the education, MM. I didn’t know that the difference in size meant the difference in variety. I thought naka-vitamins lang yung malalaki. ;p

    Apr 13, 2011 | 9:09 pm

     
  51. trax says:

    Another lesson learned here. I have not bothered paying much attention to the size of chilies. As long as its spicy its good enough for me. Dayaps are good in leche flan. You can always tell when they use dayap because it smells so good and it has that distinct taste. I agree, one can tell the difference with just a sniff of the fruit. Thanks for the info on the chilies, MM.

    Apr 14, 2011 | 12:29 am

     
  52. Kelly says:

    Would anyone know if the customs people from particular countries abroad allow the seeds through? Can’t seem to find proper links. :)

    Apr 14, 2011 | 6:08 pm

     
  53. Mary Kim says:

    MM, we got plenty of chili powder here in Korea for making Kimchi~ but I always have a frozen batch of labuyo whenever I need it. I use labuyo to make sauces and filipino food. I think it’s spicy and sweet and very distinct from other chilies!

    I planted the dried seeds in a huge pot located in our veranda before but the plant usually dies in late summer (it grows like 20cm, just plant no chilies)–
    Is it only for tropical regions?! How I wish I can grow even one…

    Apr 15, 2011 | 11:14 am

     
  54. Mary Kim says:

    back in pinas, we got dayap and labuyo in the backyard=)
    nothing growing here, though.

    @Toping, please share that homemade chili sauce recipe!(If you don’t mind).

    @Kelly, I always put them in my baggage from Pinas to Korea and sometimes they arrive as packages together with chicharon from home.. It’s okay here.

    Apr 15, 2011 | 11:19 am

     
  55. Kelly says:

    @Mary Kim, thank you!

    Apr 15, 2011 | 2:25 pm

     
  56. Ingrid says:

    i don’t buy siling labuyo because it is abundant in the park beside our house here in commonwealth QC. the caretaker of the park always prune the plants which i hate. the sili is about as small as a baby’s pinkie toe and bright red like a MAC lipstick. :) The mayas are always picking the sili every chance they get. :)

    Apr 17, 2011 | 9:15 am

     
  57. Dragon says:

    Like Mary Kim, I freeze my sili when they are in season here (and cheaper). Interestingly, we were just at a market today; bought a chili plant from an old man. It was full of ‘fruit’ wherein I pinched one to taste. Hubby scolded me for that LOL. It was fiery (I eat raw chilis – have also done so with scotch bonnet), so we bought the plant. More interesting is: it’s labuyo (small ones)!

    Apr 17, 2011 | 1:27 pm

     
  58. Toping says:

    @Mary Kim: You can find the chili sauce recipe here. Scroll all the way to the penultimate paragraph. Enjoy.

    Apr 17, 2011 | 11:44 pm

     
  59. cindz says:

    love this on everything! we grow this on our backyard, back home at the province :)

    Apr 18, 2011 | 10:22 am

     
  60. Mary Kim says:

    thank you Toping!=)

    Apr 18, 2011 | 9:42 pm

     
  61. Nadia says:

    Could it be that the “disappearing labuyo” situation is only happening in the urban areas? Here in Dumaguete, their plants grow like weeds! We have like 5 or 6 plants beside our very small apartment and use the fruits and leaves for cooking almost everyday.

    With regards to the Sagada oranges, it has come to a point where nobody really gives a damn anymore. I was in Baguio with my family last Christmas and, in the few times we went to the market, I would ask the vendors if what they were selling were real Sagada oranges. All of them would give a resounding “Yes” while nonchalantly working in their stalls surrounded by piles of China-labelled boxes. Sigh :(

    Apr 19, 2011 | 5:46 pm

     
  62. Robin says:

    found some labuyo at Unimart last Saturday! selling at the same price with the Taiwan sili

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5145/5657396460_c5a6437386.jpg

    Apr 26, 2011 | 7:22 pm

     
  63. Barnette says:

    Whoever is interested to buy siling labuyo, janggo and Taiwan sili….Weve got plantations of it…

    May 10, 2011 | 6:46 pm

     
  64. Ed says:

    Hey Marketman, great blog! I just found it and am working on catching up on the archives. How can I get in on some of those siling labuyo seeds? I live in Los Angeles and I am now pretty sure that we only have the Thai Bird Chilies…I want to plant the real thing! Thanks again for the great work on your blog, it’s very helpful to those of us abroad, or who did not grow up in the Philippines. (Me, I’m both.)

    Edit to add: I just realized I put the wrong email address in my signature…please reply to vplane9@gmail.com. Thanks Marketman!

    May 19, 2011 | 1:35 am

     
  65. Anna says:

    Last May I brought some sili labuyo home from my Tita’s house in Davao. I dried and flattened them and placed them in my carry on luggage to USA. I sprouted about 5 seeds I am growing in plants and 2 of those plants are going to be in a garden at a Chicago Museum. 3 of the plants I am growing in my personal garden for seed saving. I hope they fruit. I loved your articles on sili you post, and I pass them to my gardening friends who do not know about Filipino vegetables. Since it is cold where I live for most of the year, I start my plants indoors and bring them out in June- September, same as my Kalamansi. There was abundance in Davao of sili labuyo served for sawsawan last May.

    As for the Dayap, most citrus is propagated by cuttings and laying upon a rootstock. I know I have read Kalamansi can come true from seed, but I have not found any botanical literature yet about Dayap. For those intereseted in their own Dayap, it is best to grown from a cutting you know is Dayap rather than seed, because then you know what you are getting. You never know what happens with cross pollination because Citrus sp. hybridized readily.

    Jun 1, 2011 | 11:57 am

     
  66. al says:

    Amazing article MarketMan. like Ed, being in NY, we only have the Thai chilies which are long aand not as tasty. i’m wondering if there’s anyone home who has spare seeds to share, i would love to hear from you!! you can reach me at “letsgetpaid @ hotmail dot com”

    its funny how its so abundant at home, growing where you least expect it, yet impossible to find elsewhere. i’m so envious of all of you who have it growing in your backyaard without even intentionally planting them :)

    Aug 2, 2011 | 4:27 am

     
  67. Sam says:

    Where we can find siling labuyo in davao provinces and cebu province?

    Dec 7, 2011 | 11:47 am

     
  68. eva fe Mojado says:

    good day sa lahat,nais ko pong maghanap ng buyer ng sili kasi marami sa amin dito may 70 kilos up kaming makukuha po dito..at sana mahal ang persyo kasi sa mindano galinn,pag gusto nyong mag order just contact my number 09351185398

    Mar 24, 2012 | 8:21 pm

     
  69. Ariel Munsayac says:

    Hi i have seen your labuyo… also the pictures… i have been wanting to plant this here in Chicago… A guy from Florida gave me some seeds … lost it…damn!… it was a real labuyo.. its a bird’s eyes size… and the taste is authentic.. If you have some seeds to spare would you please send me some Thanks … ariel r munsayac 6223 n. springfield chicago il 60659. ariel6222@comcast.net… i would appreciate it.

    Apr 2, 2012 | 12:30 pm

     
  70. Timo says:

    Hello there,

    And greetings from Finland. I have positive match of some Siling Labyo plants here too. My friend took some chile pods when he was diving some small island in Philippines.

    Small island where no one leaves to mainland until all the flours of the willage was used :)

    It took long to germinate and growing speed is also low. But when I see the flovers and the fruit, I am about 95% sure, it’s Siling Labyuo

    Flower: http://www.viinanen.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/siling01.jpg
    Unripe pods: http://www.viinanen.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/20120319_Siling_Labuyo_wanhus-01.jpg

    Apr 6, 2012 | 3:39 am

     
  71. Scott says:

    For everyone looking for the seeds, I have some for sale on my website. I got my seeds at a small market in Tacloban. They are the real deal!

    http://worldtomatoes.blogspot.com/

    If you don’t have a Google Wallet or don’t want to use a credit card, I take checks and money orders as well. Just email me first to check availability.

    Nov 30, 2012 | 12:23 pm

     
 

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