I just saw these fruit at the grocery under the label “Chessa.” They reminded me that I had purchased a few fruits two months ago and never got around to doing a post on them. It is practically the last fruit (where can I get those darn aratiles???) in Doreen Fernandez’s book on Philippine Fruits that I have featured on this blog… plus I have done others as well. At any rate, this is the first and the last time I will likely buy these fruit, Tiessa to most, Canistel in Englilsh (Pouteria campechiana), and which are part of the same family as their relative, the chico. They were godawful yucky! Like putting partially dried Elmer’s glue in your mouth. Yuck. And a bit pungent in a “oh my gosh, I could wretch on this” way. Sorry, there must be several tiessa lovers out there, but I can’t see the attraction. A native to the West Indies, according to Doreen Fernandez, these fruits were only introduced to the Philippines less than a century ago. According to a different source, Purdue University (excellent source for produce), it hails from parts of Mexico. Here is a link to a LOT more information on the fruit.
Mostly grown in backyards rather than large Tiessa plantations, these have a pulp similar to chico but much firmer, and a mouthfeel that is dry and very unappealing, in my opinion. It tastes a bit sweetish, I suppose, but more like a rootcrop than a fruit hanging from a tree. Maybe the one I had was just bad, but it was nearly gross. Arrggh, and I paid over PHP100 for these three pieces of fruit… the price I have to pay for hunting down as many types of fruit to feature on this site. :)