The Philippines is blessed not only with great beaches and awesome travel destinations but also with delightful assortment of tropical fruits offerings. This is maybe the reason why during town fiestas and family celebrations, Pinoy homemakers never fail to bring forth their best Filipino food salad recipes to the table using the freshest tropical fruits that can be found in the country.
There are many Filipino fruits that are considered seasonal like avocado, lanzones, rambutan, santol, and camachile. There are also fruits that are inherent to its region like marang and durian of Davao. There are also fruits that are not really considered as your typical fruits since they are usually cook before they are eaten but they also come from trees like kolo ( breadfruit or rimas) and camansi (breadnut).
Some images and pictures of Filipino fruits brings back childhood memories, we use to have a granada (pomegranate) tree beside our house and a bayabas (guava) tree few steps away. I remember going out of our family compound and into the street and see all these fruit bearing trees like atis ( sugar apple), mabolo, kaimito (star apple), langka (jackfruit) sineguelas (Spanish plum), balimbing (star fruit), iba and Chinese iba, tambis or makopa, sampaloc (tamarind), duhat fruit (black plum), papaya and more. Today, every single fruit tree is gone replaced by the trappings and buildings of the modern world.
My favorite Rambutan
It is unfortunate that city kids today are only exposed to these tropical fruits in the fruit aisle of the grocery stores and in the fruit stands scattered around the city or in the public market. Climbing trees and picking fruits maybe alien to most of them unless they have a province they go to for summer trips and vacations where fruit trees are everywhere.
Growing up I have had opportunities to climb and pick fruits right off from the trees since I spend my summer in my dad’s hometown in Zamboanga on their farm. There were rows and rows of coconut trees, kalamansi (native lemon), mangoes, pineapples, bananas, atis fruit, anonas, guyabano or soursop fruit and more. I had a grand time choosing which fruit I’ll eat for that particular day because there were just so many tropical fruits and they were all for free lol. And sometimes when I visit Dumaguete where my mom’s mom came from, I get to see lots lanzones and rambutan trees when they are in season.
Want some Lanzones?
In the Philippines, different fruits are collected when a new year approaches as moms and lolas prepares the traditional ‘palihi’, a Filipino custom that says you must have 13 kinds of fruits that resembles circles on your table when January 1 strikes.
These different types of fruits with round shape during New Year’s Media Noche is believed to bring good luck and money luck all throughout the coming new year to the Pinoy family and household that observes this tradition because ‘round’ or ‘circle’ is equated to coins and money. (Click this new post: 5 Palihi Traditions: Of 12 Rounds Fruits for Luck and More Pampaswerte for 2012) No wonder prices of fruits by late December shoot to the roof. Perennial favorites for this Philippine tradition are suha or pummelo, chicos, lanzones, dalandan, ponkan or native orange, watermelon, grapes, apple, grapefruit.
I wonder if your household still observes this Filipino New Year tradition. If you are, what are the fruits that make it to your list?
From all the fruits mentioned above, you can try to pick and match and come up with a Filipino fruit salad recipe of your own or create a new concoction for a fruit dip, a fruit smoothie or a tropical fruit basket for gift giving.
This post is written to celebrate Filipino fruits. Our local and native fruits may appear as exotic fruits to some but they are fruits that we have grown up with and is very familiar with (or so I hope hehehe). I am still looking for opportunities to take pictures of tropical fruits to go with this blog post so please bear with me for now.
Let’s promote not only tourism but Philippine fruits as well!