Kalumpit (De-wormed, Overripe, Semi-fermented & Sugared)


I think I have finally found some real kalumpit (terminalia microcarpa). Last October I had found some unusual (for me) fruits at the market and tried to identify them properly. I put a post on them asking if they were either kalumpit or manzanitas, the kal2two closest choices, I thought. But the post received a surprisingly large number of comments and my apprehensions about the fruits in the photographs then were well-founded… I had no idea what the fruit was! It seems the fruits then are more commonly referred to as “cherries” and frankly, despite a reader’s help (Tulip), I never really got to the bottom of things… At least I knew I probably did not have kalumpit, an apparently indigenous tree/fruit that is increasingly more and more difficult to find. So last Saturday at the Nasugbu market, when I noticed a vendor selling some unusual looking semi-dried berries or fruit in a small basket, my Marketman instincts kicked in and I nosed my way to the vendor. I asked her what she had and she said “kalumpit, ako ang nagpitas sa bundok…” (kalumpit, I picked them myself up in the mountains). I asked if I could buy some but she said they were already all sold to one of the fish vendors. Bummer.


Not one to give up so easily on a fruit I had misidentified once before, I circled around the market and returned to the fish vendor who bought all of the kalumpit. I bought kal32 kilos of her tanguigue steaks and as I was paying, I smiled and nicely asked if I could have a handful of her kalumpit so I could take a photo of them. Thankfully, she obliged, and even gave me instructions on how to prepare them at home. I then ventured to the fruit section of the market and suddenly realized the place had several vendors with small to medium sized baskets filled with kalumpit! Clearly, this was not a rare commodity in the Nasugbu market, it was just extremely seasonal and apparently highly labor intensive to collect. Nevertheless, I purchased two cans (large tomato soup size) worth of kalumpit for PHP15 and now I had about half a kilo of this heretofore elusive fruit…

Back at home, I unloaded the kalumpit, which seemed beyond ripe, almost slightly fermenting really, and placed them in a bowl. The vendor at the market said I needed to soak them in some water to remove the dirt and any worms that might be in the pile. Little kal5did I know she meant WORMS… IN BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS!!! From the first soak in water for a minute or two, at least 20 wriggling teeny tiny to highly visible creamy worms floated up to the surface. Yikes! They were wickedly gross looking. So we soaked them again and watched even more worms rise to the surface of the water. After TEN more soaks the worms got less but there were still live ones floating around! Super yuck is right. I was so grossed out I soaked them for an hour longer then drained them. I actually considered microwaving them to zap any remaining critters but that would mean I would likely EAT their remains instead! Continuing with the instructions, I poured lots of white granulated sugar onto the fruit and mixed it up a bit. I tasted one of the fruit and it had a plum like flavor, slightly fermenting and sweetened with sugar.

Frankly, if I had never seen the worms, I might get to like this concoction. I am, after all, a major consumer of kiamoy. But I just had a hard time removing the worm visual from my brain. I let the kalumpit steep in the sugar overnight and had them again in the morning… let’s just say 6 or so fruit is the maximum amount I could stomach. It’s funny that if these kal6had been presented to me in a mall in a clean plastic bag, I would probably have munched my way through the entire bag… but because I had seen the fruit fresh from the tree (or the soil just beneath it), teeming with live creepy crawlies giving me the hibbie-jibbies, I just couldn’t get into the kalumpit in sugar at all. I didn’t even bother to try the salt route… At any rate, here are the photos of the kalumpit. But sorry, this is the last time you will see a post on them unless someone has a brilliant suggestion how to get these worm free… Oh, and one last thing, the main difference between this fruit and the one I photographed last year? This was smaller and had a single seed or pit in the middle, not the multiple seeds in the local “cherries”…


28 Responses

  1. That was so funny, MM! You really had me laughing! ^_^

    But sorry, this is just the first time I heard about the fruit so no information from me about how to get them worm-free. BTW, how was your weekend? I hope you had a great one. Thanks, too, for your e-mail and your comment in my blog. Yep, I will do my best to post, post, post. But frankly, I enjoy reading your posts more than posting my own until I realize I’m about to go home already and I won’t have the time to create one anymore. I wish I have an Internet connection at home. :(

  2. Super yuck indeed! Are the worms a necessary component to the enjoyment of this fruit, to kick off the fermentation process, perhaps? I mean based on the instructions you got it seems acceptable for them to have worms, but it is interesting to know if it’s actually preferable that way, or did you just get a bad batch?

  3. Why were there wormSS? EEEEWWWWWWW. Overripe will be acceptable but when there are wormssss, isn’t it almost rotten? UGGHH.

    Marketman, if my memory serves me right I think I sent you a 3-fruit comparison identification. The third kind is called Cerales. One of my househelp identified it and my mother followed up that your previous misidentified fruit is called Siniguelas Americano in Batangas, not Kalumpit which she actually told me before that my grandmother didn’t quite like (maybe due to worms too).

  4. we usually get to taste kalumpit whenever we go to my grandparents house in mindoro… lola puts the kalumpit and sugar in a pot then lets it boil until it attains a “jam” like consistency… we either put it in a strainer to take the skin and seeds out or just leave the seeds in… either way, kalumpit always signals summer for me…

  5. krizteene, you are welcome. Chris, I was assured by the fish vendor that worms were a normal part of this delicacy… she had detailed instructions on how to remove them… I suppose the worms indicate the fruit is absolutely ripe and probably HELP in the fermentation process… ugh. I also once saw huge worms in a semi-dried piece of fish in the daing market in Cebu, it was gross as well, but after deep frying the fish, you don’t think about it too much. Tulip, yes you did send the three fruit description, and I guess we have to refer to the previous post as the cerales or a form of cherry rather than kalumpit, thanks again for that! jaili, the jam version sounds intriguing, did you eat it with bread? As part of a dessert? I am curious.

  6. OMG mm!!! i remember when i was little i used to pick up kalumpit from our neighbor’s lot, wash them a little and pop them inside my mouth like candies… hmmm maybe that explains my fondness for sushi and sashimi hahaha :)

  7. Ewww…I admire you bravery for tasting it MM!. I wont be eating a piece of two after seeing all those worms float in the water.

  8. hi mr. marketman! this kalumpit looks very much like balig-ang (wild berries) in bicol. it looks yummy with the sugar and all. don’t worry bout the worms though. i think it’s a good indication that the person really harvested it from the wild (no pollutants like insecticides or whatsoever). between down insecticides or worms…worms na lang. hehehehe nyay! btw, i got your blogsite from yummy! wished i learned this blogsite a long…long time ago. sigh

  9. If you believed that the worms are part of the kalumpit experience and you ate of it, boy have I got a historic bridge to sell you.

  10. Worms yikes and yucky factors of kalumpit is imbedded in you regardless how good they are you have your unpleasant episode with them. Probably if you soak the de-wormed kalumpit in ordinary vinegar for three months it will yield a good flavored vinegar for salad dressing!

  11. Talk about your acquired tastes. Gosh, this has to be a first. A fruit that you have to de-worm before it can be considered edible. The question is, could you actually deworm these fruits 100%? And more importantly, is the risk of eating these creatures, and all of the trouble, worth it? Is it MM?

  12. RGM, I have to admit, I am NOT doing this again. However, it was worth the taste I suppose, just to know… I am a bit bummed that I have missed the season for eating large red ant eggs in Ilocos, a native delicacy… ant caviar as it were. But another day, perhaps. Maria Clara, salad dressing sounds good to me. Apicio, I must say it was GROSS, but there is one side of me that isn’t TOO upset when I eat half a worm in an apple… after all, they have only been eating apple as well… does that make sense? I always wonder about the waste products…

  13. You know calumpit is really really delicious! never mind the worms they are naturally present, it only indicates that the fruit is already ripe, you can even see worms in ripe guava, so you see theres really no harm. Just clean the calumpit and it’s ready to eat or make jelly or jam if u have the time. Happy eating!

  14. “but there is one side of me that isn’t TOO upset when I eat half a worm in an apple… after all, they have only been eating apple as well”… I agree here. If it is just a worm born and bred within the kalumpit berry without the experience of eating garbage or fastfood, fine.

  15. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew…. nakain niyo pa?!?!?!
    i get all… shivery just thinking about those worms… yagh.

  16. Reminds me of a recipe I’ve been given for making what is called Cherry Bounce. Popular homemade tipple in the southern US, I believe. Maybe you can substitute the wild cherries with the kalumpit. You can strain out the, uhm, “protein” before indulging.

    1 quart wild cherries
    1 pound sugar
    1 fifth bourbon

    Wash and pick over cherries, removing stems and drain. Pour moist cherries into a half-gallon jug. Pour ½ cup sugar over moist cherries, then shake until cherries are coated. Pour remaining sugar on top of cherries. Do not mix. Place cap on jug loosely to prevent pressure build-up. Let stand until sugar melts on top of cherries, then stir by revolving jug. Repeat until all sugar is dissolved. Let stand for 2 months. Pour bourbon over cherries and close jug tightly. Let stand 3 or 4 months. During the 3 month period, revolve jug occasionally. Strain through cheesecloth and pour into bottles. (Makes about ½ gallon) Since I don’t have wild cherries available, I use two cans of sour cherries. I usually let stand 2 months after adding bourbon, then strain and let sit another 2 months before use. Sip, don’t drink! This is not a suggestion; it is a warning.

  17. My lola used to make preserved sweetened kalumpit nung bata pa ko. Sarap yan. I miss that…..:-)

  18. very good fruit.. actually we had two trees in our backyard and it can be bloomed in summer april and may.. now we have a lot of sweetened calumpit… hahaha.. ung samin walang worms kasi pagkahulog nya sa umaga pinupulot na agad ng mga pamangkin ko…
    niluluto namin sa tanghali.. very delicious and quite taste like strawberry.. hehehe

  19. Yes, I am from Tuy,Batangas and that is two towns away from Nasugbu. Kalumpit is teeming in our place. They are best and almost wormfree before the rainy season. After the rains, almost all fruits gets worms. Do not buy ones that get picked up from the ground. Ideally, you lay plastic under the tree before you shake the fruited branch. That will yield the best pick. Wag yung kusang nalaglag. Supersarap when cooked with sugar and the syrup turns into jelly for your bread. You eat it in front of your mouth skimming the seed, then spit the seed out.

    I, too dont like jellied worms.

  20. guys, where can i find this calumpit/kalumpit? I badly need it, i need to determine its anti-oxidant content for my special problem. also, can you also give me some informations about duhat, bignay, calumpit and lipote? How do they differ from each other and where can i find it because i need some samples of it.thanx a lot

  21. Kalumpit fruiting season is at the end of summer. No more fruits at this time. Wait for next year.

  22. just put salt in the water when you are soaking them…
    then cook them with lots of brown sugar… i just see how its made but i dont eat them, well lots of people like them hahaha… we even bring them to pasig

  23. hi!!! I’m from calaca, batangas near nasugbu, batangas.I am a FOOD TECHNOLOGY student of de la salle araneta university. I need some information about kalumpit. We have that kind of tree near our house, but i don’t know were that tree came from (origin). Can you help me??? I want that fruit to be my thesis study. I want to know if there is a study about that kind of fruit/tree.. I am also searching in our municipal library if there is a book or study about that fruit. Please help me,that study is very important to my upcoming thesis. thanks

  24. Yung mga nagkokomento sa kalumpit na nandidiri eh,baka hindi nyo pa yan nasusubukan tikman at wala kayong alam kung pano kaiinin yan…
    Ang kalumpit ay napakasarap na prutas.
    Tuwing MAYO lang yan lumalabas.
    Siguraduhin lang na kakapitas lang ng kalumpit para walang uod.
    kasi once na nalaglag na sya madali na syang magkakauod,
    parang duhat o kasoy ganon din sya…
    Turuan ko kayo kung anong tamang gawin sa kalumpit.
    Pagkapitas galing sa puno hugasan,then lagyan lang ng asin.
    Siguradong walang uod ang kalumpit kapag ikaw mismo ang pumitas nito galing sa puno.
    Kung bibili ka naman sa palengke pumili ng matigas pa,pisil-pisilin ang kalumpit, kung malambot sya ibig sabihin may uod na yon. kung matigas pa at walang butas ibig sabihin fresh pa sya at walang uod…

  25. yap, kalumpit is so nice & yummy, try it, im from nasugbu and meron din puno yung mga ate ko which bear a lot every may gusto nyo kuha kayo fresh from the tree. yummy and delicious pag minatamis mo. the small worms sa kalumpit eh hindi siya nawawala, but you can take this away – babad mo lang sa salt and water bago lutuin….

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