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Posts Tagged ‘summer fruits’


Locally we call it kaimito.

It’s best eaten cold from the ref. In the province, neighbors give this for free. Star Apple is a fruit that grows in the tropics including Southeast Asia. We harvest them around March and April. A kilo (around five pieces) costs P70.00.

Aside from being a tasty dessert, it has several health benefits too. It contains vitamins A, B, C, lysine, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, amino acids, methionine, and protein. It has minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.

Kaimito, anyone?

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It’s been a while. Just so lazy to stay in front of the computer and write. Sometimes,it really feels that way. You’d think you have nothing to write about  and your mind wanders again. The good thing is I was able to finish two books in between.

For the first time in so many months, I read a love story. It’s fiction of course but it seemed it was based on the royal family. Knowing how the other half live their lives is quite interesting enough, the protocols,  the dos and don’ts and everything, even the  way you walk, alight in a car, the way you dress, the way you address everyone. Thinking about it, it must be really hard to all and still show the world that everything is okay.

Josef and I went to our twice-a-month marketing  this morning buying some meat, lots of fish and other seafood.  It’s always a thrill to find fresh produce in the market. Summer fruits are in season now but some are still a little pricey.

Kaimito

These are star apples. They are locally known as kaimito. They cost around P50.00 pesos a kilo (about four pieces). They are best eaten cold. Back in the province almost every household has a star apple tree so they don’t buy these, they just wait for the fruits to ripen.

I also bought half a kilo of fresh peanuts then boiled them later for snacks.

 

Peanuts or mani in our local language.

One thing that I love about going to the wet market is to see their fresh seafood. I bought shrimps  and lato, an edible sea weed. These are pretty common here. They also call it sea grapes. We had it for lunch paired with grilled milkfish. Yummy. all you have to do is to chop an onion and tomatoes. I added one whole salted duck egg. You won’t need anything else except maybe a pinch of white ground pepper for that kick.

It is always cheaper to buy all of these at the public market than relying on supermarket stores.

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Maybe those old songs that I played on YouTube triggered it. I don’t know but those times when we were kids seemed so vivid in my memory.

My two brothers and I lived in the province when we were growing up until we graduated in grade school when Dad decided to transfer us to the University of Sto. Tomas where we finished high school and  college.   During our younger  days, Mom used to go to Metro Manila to be with Dad and we were left in the care of my maternal grandmother and my unmarried aunt.  We lived in their old ancestral house with two older cousins.   My aunt just visited our house every day to water the plants and to feed  the chickens in our yard. Those were the days, I could recall them now.

I wonder what’s with Royal True Orange and crackers. I remember that when we get sick, we would have a bottle of Royal True Orange and  crackers by our bedside.  Back then,  the doctor in our town makes home visits.   I wonder how he managed to divide his time between those home visits and caring for other sick people who visits the Municipal Health Center.  There is always a ready tube of Liberol Ointment when we get colds. I wonder if it is still in the market until now but it was very effective for chest and back rub for us.  It’s been decades since I saw a tube of that liniment.

My oldest aunt (Mom’s side) had a sari-sari store in the barrio where we lived before.  Fancy having those Vicks candies with free plastic rings inside. My girl cousin and I would collect different colors and put them on our fingers. The world of kids. I also remember those crunchy but hard biscuits  my aunt used to sell per piece. They were shaped like bracelets.

I also remember this – madre  cacao. My dad used them as perimeter fence in our property there in the province. They produce lovely flowers  during  the summer months and we would use the young stems to curl our hair and make them wavy.   We had annatto seeds  to color our lips even if the fresh seeds are pungent.  Back then I didn’t even know that the dried seeds and extracted annatto oil  were used as food color.  I only knew of their use when Dad introduced me in the kitchen.

When we were kids, my oldest brother and I were fond of climbing trees in our backyard. We had guava trees, star apples and tamarind trees.  We would gather  ripe cashews and  save the seeds which contain the nuts inside.   We would roast them and eat the hot nuts.  We sometimes eat the ripe yellow fruit, slice it thinly and put a little salt on top.   Duhat fruits or Java plums are plenty during the summer months.  There will always be a duhat tree in the backyard or at our neighbor’s which we used to climb back then. Locally, the fruits  are called lomboy.

Ah, the times we enjoyed those early years and I am right here reminiscing.

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So summer has  started in the Philippines. Technically PAGASA does not call it summer  but the dry season.  The dry season though starts from the month  of November until March the following year. The hottest months are usually  April and May. Sometimes, rainy days start mid June until October.

It is during these  summer months that we have those summer fruits in season. This morning, I bought a kilo of star apple (kaimito in Tagalog) and fresh bananas.  My mom who is still with us until now loves fruits especially bananas. The variety I bought ripens easily in a day or two. I usually buy the ones which are still green.

  Green and ripe sweet mangoes are in abundance too but they  are still expensive. In the province, mangoes are given free by neighbors during harvest  time and almost every family has a mango tree in the backyard. I love the green ones (which we call manibalang)  better than the ripe ones. They taste so good with alamang  (shrimp paste) and chili peppers. Have you ever tried  freshly cooked shrimp paste as dipping sauce?It is wonderfully yummy with that kick of chili.

Do you know what’s the best time to visit the Philippines?  It is during the cooler weather of December until probably late January or early March. It is during these times that there are so many festivals celebrated in different parts of the  archipelago. Fiestas are also held at these times of the year. These feast are definitely attractions in themselves.  I guess our country celebrate so many feast, a valid excuse to party and to prepare Filipino food too. We have a variety of Philippine cuisine truly unique in the country. Some are fusion of Spanish and American dishes.  Chinese recipes abound in local food courts and restaurants.

We have lovely beaches too. I guess Palawan, Cebu  and Boracay are the best places to be during summer. There are more lovely islands in other areas too. We are not called a country of 7,641 islands for nothing. More than 5,000 islands are yet to be named though.

Come visit us, it is summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When the sun shines longer each day, it’s summer.

When the wind blows early in the afternoon  diffusing the heat of the morning, it’s summer.

Many of us look forward to summer despite the fact that a day could really become a scorcher. Summer for school kids means a long, long vacation. Summer gives you that perfect excuse to stay longer under the shower, find a nearby place that has a private pool to visit,  go to a beach and soak under the sun or if you just want to stay at home you can join your little kids  in their inflatable pool.  My son loves  to wear the most tattered and frayed t-shirts during the summer months, you could almost see several little holes in them. He says it becomes more comfortable with frequent washing.

What I love about  summer is  the profusion of different kinds of flowers. Sometimes, when you are lucky, those  few annuals show their heads and surprise you with lovely blooms.  Fruits are also something to look forward to.  Mangoes are the best fruits you can find in our neck of the woods. I haven’t visited Pasig market yet but I am sure there are plenty of star apples now, honeydew melons, mangoes, water melons, pineapples, papaya and many, many more.  I am looking forward to tasting sineguelas (Spanish plum)again.  Don’t you just wish you could enjoy drinking fresh buko juice everyday which is so healthy and beneficial to your health? Fresh young coconuts  are available in almost every corner of the neighborhood.  Singkamas (Jicama) as we usually call it  here are  aplenty  during the hot summer months. I know some call them turnips but it is not the variety of turnips that you usually find in other countries. Although it taste bland to some people who are not used to it, it is one of my favorite root crops.  They are best eaten cold with a little salt and vinegar used as dip. They are also mixed with other vegetables to make spring rolls. I haven’t tasted lomboy (we call it duhat in Tagalog and Java plum in English) for quite sometime now but I remember the days of old when my cousins and I would pick these juicy fruits when school is out. Armed with bayong or baskets, we would climb trees  even under the heat of the sun and gorge on the plum, juicy fruits.

There is a fresh mango smoothie cooling in the fridge. It’s definitely summer.

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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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