About Fruits

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There is a variety of fruits that are abundant in the Philippines that are thankfully, also available in our local grocery stores.

I always buy Mexican mangoes (Manila mangoes are not available), saba (bananas similar to plantains), papaya, pakwan (watermelon), and pinya (pineapple).

On my recent grocery trip, I bought rambutan, langka, lychee, and sampaloc (tamarind) for my children to sample.

I remember our langka tree in our backyard in Manila that bore only one huge fruit.  What was sold in the local store was probably just an eighth of a whole fruit.  Although inexpensive at $4, I would not have bought it,  if not for my children who I am sure would be thrilled to see such a spiky fruit.  Langka (jackfruit) is not a favorite of mine.

My daughter tried half a fruit, and graciously declined the rest. My son finished one, and ate two more.  He was eating the whole time with a confused look on his face.  He said that he liked it because it was sweet, but couldn’t quite figure out if he liked the after taste.

Rambutan, a favorite of mine, was an instant hit.  This fruit was much more expensive though.  About 20 pieces of the sweet fruit cost just as much as a pound of cherries.  They could not get enough of this.

Another hit was the lychee.  They have only tasted the canned fruit from the toppings at frozen yogurt places.  I am glad that they love the fresh fruit more.

Sampaloc was the fruit that they were excited to eat.  They found the brown shell interesting.  “If it is ripe, it is sweet”, I said.

They cracked the shell, tasted the fruit, and said, “This is not ripe”, and then left the poor half open sampaloc on the table.

When life was less complicated, I had the idea of making my own *sinigang mix.  I pooh-poohed the mix that was sold in stores.  I bought a bag of fresh sampaloc and boiled it.  Who would have known that if you cook sampaloc too long, it would turn into jam.  From then on, I embraced the sinigang mix.

*Sinigang is a Filipino soup that usually uses tamarind for the sour flavor.

About Teacher Tina

I have been a teacher for more than 15 years in the Philippines and the United States. Teaching is a vocation that I am grateful to have embraced. It certainly prepared me for motherhood.

6 responses »

  1. rambutan is my fave! however i always have a hard time eating it because the skin of the seed gets pulled out with the flesh everytime i try eating it! but it’s awesome. i also like lanzones and mangoes. yum! 🙂

    • Oh yes. I was told that there is such a variety of rambutan. There is also one variety where the flesh doesn’t come out clean from the seed. Personally, I prefer to eat those with a bit of skin seed 🙂

      If I see lanzones around, I’ll write about it.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

      • Another Tina fact that I did not know! You don’t like langka? I LOVE IT! I saw it in Hmart a few months ago (and have seen it in a few Asian groceries since then) and I was so happy. It can be expensive here but I’m happy to finally have a taste of the fresh one (not the bottled kind in heavy syrup, ekh!). My most missed fruits though are atis and chico. Have had them in a long long long time…sigh.

      • I love atis, we used to have a tree in our backyard. Another favorite of mine that I don’t see around here is mangosteen.

        We’ll just have to wait until we get back to the tropics to get our fruit fix.

  2. Nerissa Salvador

    I rarely see rambutan here in New York and I’m sure people won’t know how to react to it when they see one. I remember sis-in-law, Ichu’s, story about a guest they had who came from the States. When one rambutan fruit started rolling down from the coffee table, the guest started smacking it with a slipper!


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