Dr Abe V. Rotor
Let's take a cursory check of fruits sold in some fruit stands in Manila and imagine we are in a travelogue to where they came from - into time and history as well.
Lanzones from Paete, marang from South Cotabato, pomelo from Davao, manggang kalabao from Zambales, strawberry from Baguio, durian from Maguindanao, dalangita from Cavite, pakwan from Candaba – but wait.
These are only samples of the country’s rich variety of fruits. What we may not readily find in the market are the less popular fruits, fruits that are even better, not to mention their rarity of their taste, than the major ones.
Here is a list of the minor fruits of the Philippines, often referred to as “promising fruits” because of their great potential in agriculture and industry, for both domestic and foreign markets.
1. Atis (Anona squamosa)
It is also called sugar apple for its very sweet taste. The fruit when mature is light green or yellowish, the ridges becoming wide apart, and in some cases split. Atis is a typical example of collective fruit, each seed covered by fleshy carpel which we each. The seeds are small and kids playfully spit them out like a blow gun.
2. Avocado (Persia americana)
It originated from Mexico where it is a very popular. In fact it is Mexico’s national fruit. It was introduced into the country by the Spaniards in the 17th century. Today avocado is found in most part of the country and cultivated in the backyard.
3. Balimbing (Averrhoa carambola)
4. Kamias (Averrhoa balimbi)
5. Caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito)
6. Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)
7. Chico (Manikara zapota syn., Achras zapota)
8. Duhat (Syzygium cumini)
9. Durian (Durio zibethinus)
10. Grapes (Vitis vinifera)
11. Guava (Psidium guajava)
12. Guyabano (Anona muricata)
13. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)
14. Lanzones (Lansium domesticum)
15. Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)
16. Pili (Canarium ovatum)
17. Rambutan (Nephalium appaceum)
18. Rimas (Artocarpus altilis)
19. Kamansi (A. camansi)
20. Santol (Sandoricum koetjape)
21. Siniguelas (Spondias purpurea)
22. Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)
23. Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
24. Tiessa (Poteria campechiana syn Locuma nervosa)
Other noteworthy fruits
25. Bago (Gnetum gnenum)
26. Bignay (Antidesma bunuis)
27. Biriba (Rollina deliciosa syn R. orthopetala)
28. Chico-Mamey ( Pouteria sapota syn., Calocarpum sapota)
29. Datiles (Muntingia calabura)
30. Kalumpit (Terminalia microcarpa)
31. Kamachili (Pithecolobium dulce)
32. Kayam (Inocarpus eduluis)
33. Mabolo ( Diospyrus blancoi)
34. Makopa ( Syzygium samarangense)
35. Manzanitas (Ziziphus jujuba)
36. Marang (Artocarpus pdoratoissima)
37. Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis)
38. Granadilla (Punica granatum)
Not mentioned in The Promising Fruits of the Philippines by Dr. Roberto E. Coronel, are
43. Karmai – Cicca acida
If you know of a fruit in your locality that has not been listed here, kindly send its name and description to this Blog through Comments. Thank you.