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Posts Tagged ‘Philippine fruits’


I don’t know the exact  English word for this fruit that we locally call balimbing. It is  just simply called star fruit. It has a scientific name Averrhoa carambola  I  chanced upon it in one of the fruit stalls near the church so I bought a kilo which sells at P20 pesos. I  haven’t tasted this fruit for decades, it is really not that popular. The taste is a little bland, not even sour or sweet but is is juicy. You have to dip it in a little salt before you eat it.

balimbing

Did you know that this fruit is associated with  politicians here in our country? Balimbing is also  a slang  word for a traitor or a turncoat. This is because the this  has many sides. Politicians who change parties or loyalties based on who’s currently has authority are frequently called balimbing. And there are plenty of them here, almost all of them actually. They align themselves to who is in power at the moment disregarding the previous political party where they are affiliated.  It is such a shame really since most politicians in power are corrupt  and traditional politicians make false promises, buy votes just to win  and perpetuate themselves in power.   Oh yes, they are called balimbing.

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Mango

Last Sunday, a friend who came over for lunch brought a bagful of green and golden ripe carabao mangoes. We could not consume it in three days so I decided to make some smoothie drinks by simply adding a small can of evaporated milk, a few spoons of sugar and crushed iced. There you go, a sweet and refreshing glass of pure mango.

Most people say that the Philippines has the best sweet and delicious mangoes in the world and I agree. Summer is the best time that you’ll enjoy this fruit. I am planning to make a mango jam out of the remaining ripe ones. You might not believe this but I love green mangoes more. I enjoy eating them fresh, sliced with the skin on and just sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Heaven!

I also baked chewy oatmeal raisin cookies using yellow raisin instead of the dark ones. Yellow raisins have more natural taste, not too sweet and not too dry.  Preparing  something in the kitchen need not be that elaborate. It’s Holy Week  and I suggested to my son that we do away with meat for the whole week and eat sea food and veggies instead.

Have a blessed and meaningful Holy Tuesday!

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I miss my little Nate. They’re supposed to visit me today but my daughter got sick so I have to wait for another week before I get to see my “apo”. I am looking forward to having him around again and see what he has learned and accomplished in a month.  He is almost six months old now, time flies!

Last Wednesday, Josef and I went to Pasig City market just to buy fruits. It was his day-off so what better way to spend the  early morning  but to visit   a place that I haven’t seen for so many years?  I’ve been told by some friends that the price of fruits there are really cheap. The place is where fresh produce coming from the provinces are sold wholesale and by the kilo. I was simply awed by the variety of fruits they have, all housed in a large complex that used to  be just a  few stalls ten, fifteen years ago. Where can you find a kilo of sineguelas  at only P20? They had sacks and sacks of it lining up several stores.The other day, I asked some vendors here in our place how much a kilo of it costs and I was surprised that they were selling it at  P60/kilo. One  large  pineapple that sells around P75 to P80 a piece in our place costs only P50 in Pasig. Green and ripe mangoes are sold by the sacks and crates too.  Would you believe Indian mangoes are at P10/kilo? As we just took a commute to the place, I didn’t  buy much except these, all for the price of P400, a half kilo of fresh peanuts, a kilo of  sweet potato, sweet corn   and a large watermelon included.

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I will definitely come back here if only to buy more sineguelas and fresh pineapples.  I haven’t explored the place yet. There are other fruits on display like bananas (all kinds, I think), durian (which I don’t eat). Think summer, think fruits!

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So what could you buy with P100.oo pesos?

I attended an anticipated mass  last night at Our Lady of Light Parish at the town proper. Sometimes, you just miss the noise of everyday living in a town where food chains like McDonald’s and Jollibee go hand in hand with selling goods in karitons (cart). You’ll see them in every corner near the church – fruit vendors, balut vendors, small stores selling pork barbecue or inihaw na bangus and yes,  vendors selling cartload of fruits in season.

So what could you buy with your P100.00 pesos? That’s the only money  I had in my coin purse and a few loose  change for tricycle fare in going home. I forgot to bring some money except my offering for a mass for our dead relatives and a folded P100.00.  When you are sorely tempted to buy something to munch on after dinner, either it’s an order of  fried peanuts or cornik  but of course with all that oil sticking to your fingers, they’re not just healthy. I saw a vendor selling lanzones  for P70.00 a kilo. I have to haggle with him and he gave me a discount of P10.00 and a half-kilo of  dalandan was selling at P20.00. So make that P20.00 left out of the P100.00 peso bill. What could you buy with that anyway?  I found this, a little stand in a corner selling puto bungbong  or   puto bumbong for some.

I haven’t tasted this for quite sometime. It’s a native delicacy that is usually seen and sold at Christmas time. I have to wait for at least five minutes for it to cook. Four thin bumbong tubes of this glutinous rice costs P18.00 Topped with a spread of margarine, freshly  grated coconut and a teaspoon of sugar….it’s just perfect!  Don’t ask me how it’s done, I’d rather just buy and eat it pronto while it’s hot.  I found this site that shows how puto bumbong is prepared.

Whoa, I still have P2.00 left in my pocket.

Yesterday, I did another experiment in the kitchen. Instead of cooking pancakes the traditional way, I baked it instead. Using a small pack of  Maya hot cake mix, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder,1 egg, 1/3 cup of sugar  and more than a half cup of raisins, I came up with this, a yummy cinnamon raisin loaf.

Even my son did a  thumbs up  when he took a bite. Just perfect for that hot cup of green tea.

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Star Apples, along with sweet mangoes,  are the star summer fruits. And you know it’s summer when you can see  them displayed in every fruit stall in the neighborhood. Fruit vendors  sell them for P40.00 a kilo, about four or five pieces depending on the size of the fruit.

Some call the fruit, cainito, caimito, star apple, golden leaf tree or milk fruit but whatever you call it, it’s a perfect  summer fruit dessert. And it is best served chilled.

Back when we were kids growing up in the province, we just go into a neighbor’s yard and bring back a bagful of these. The ripe fruits sometimes  fall off the  tree when the wind is strong but they are better picked by climbing the tree and bringing a bag or by using a long stick with a string basket tied at the end.  Here in the city, I seldom find caimito trees but my son-in-law  often brings us a small bag  when they make a visit. Nissa tells me that the caimito tree in their yard is showing off again, having plenty of fruits for picking.

Caimito, anyone?

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So it’s officially summer now in our part of the world. The stifling heat is too much. Gone are the cool mornings when the night is a little longer, plenty of time to stay in bed without feeling guilty. You could tell and the sun shows its face early everyday. 7am is a little hot on one’s back to garden, I have to wake up an hour earlier  than usual to do the daily chores of watering the plants, feeding the Koi, sweeping the yard, and when I am a little inspired, I do some gardening in the morning.Enough said since that is my daily routine.

School break, two months vacation for students, beaches, summer outing, swimming, enrolling in some useful craft like cooking, baking, arts and crafts  etc. etc. Actually, the possibilities are endless, and with the Philippines having at least 7,100 islands, take your pick, that is, if you have enough money to go on vacation or to visit local  tourist attractions. You can hie off to nearest Tagaytay to savor the morning breeze, go to Batangas for a swim, explore some untrodden paths in the countryside.

What is so good about summer is the abundance of fruits that normally you wouldn’t see at any other month. These are what I truly enjoy eating during summer.

They were the most crunchy and the sweetest watermelons I’ve ever tasted.

Green mangoes paired with bagoong alamang, what more could you ask for?

Take your pick, they sell all kinds of bananas at the wet market.

And the good old reliable buko which you can enjoy all year round. I just had two glasses of  cold buko juice this afternoon …yummy!

Star apple, anyone?

Sineguelas, another favorite. I wonder why they call it Spanish plum.

Guavas, another favorite. We have a tree in our backyard, just good enough to enjoy the fruits during summer.

The downside of summer though is this, when it is really so hot to go outside and you don’t have anything planned  for the day, you are tempted to play a couch potato just to avoid the summer heat. But something to look forward to are the traditions of Holy Week, the family rituals of visiting old churches and discovering new places.

Have fun…it’s summer!

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