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Food Citations | September 19, 2017

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Weird Fruits Some People Don't Know Existed



| On 16, Jul 2013

Weird is a term used for something unusual, odd and strange. We can say someone or something is weird when a majority found it different. So, we can say weird is ordinary to someone, but different to others. In example, eating a meal with bare hands is something that Filipinos do everyday. However, Americans and other westerners will found it odd or maybe, won’t do it.

From the title itself, I will enlist some of the weird fruits that can be seen here in the Philippines. I may not be sure if it’s weird with you, but it’s a little weird for me.

Durian

Durian is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. The fruit can be distinguished by it’s spiky and round appearance. The yellow flesh inside is edible. You can also identify it by the strong odor.

According to some historians, Durian with scientific name Durio kutejensis was said to have originated in the Philippines and since it can grow easily in tropical climates, it just numbered to the residing countries. In the Philippines, you can see it sold in the sidewalks along the Davao region.

I’m a fruit lover, but if you’ll serve me some Durian, I’ll have my head moving left and right. Why? This is because of the foul odor that this fruit has. The smell is a close resemblance to rotting onions. Many people will agree with me, as this is prohibited inside a public transportation. People who carry the fruits should surrender this to the drivers and conductors and will keep it away from people.

I was dared by my friend to try and to be fair, it’s like eating a creamy and pulpy jack fruit inside a lavatory.

Know Andrew Zimmern? The host of “Bizarre Foods.” He was served with this fruit and failed as he can’t resist the odor.

Check out the video below:

Just like Zimmern said, I always respect someone’s culinary and food preferences. I think some people should respect mine too. I don’t like durian.

Santol

Sandoricum koetjape or locally known as Santol was included in list as when I gave it to one of my Korean students his instant reaction was amazed. And then, he asked “what do you call this weird fruit?”

Internationally known as cotton fruit, Santol is as same size as a baseball. Inside are seeds that are covered with a cotton-like pulp. That white material is edible and most of the time are sweet. According to my mother, the smaller varieties of Santol that comes sour are cultivated for culinary purposes only.

Here in the Philippines, this is peeled exposing the thin layer of the skin. Then, will be rolled in salt and then, you can chow’em.

Despite there are some farms that used to take care of the Santol trees, they are considered as backyard tree.

Sugar Apple

Another backyard tree, but preferred by some to santol with small spaces as this is only a small tree.

Sugar apple or locally known as atis came into the list of weird fruits based on its appearance. This is a fruit, same size of a tennis ball and looks like having scales.

The edible flesh inside is colored white. I love the sweetness of this fruit. However, I always found hard time eating it as you have to get rid of the seeds inside your mouth first that are covered individually by the pulp before enjoying it.

When ripe, it becomes very soft on a way it platters out when carried from the market.

Aratilis

Upon doing some research I found out that the international name of aratilis is muntingia. It is available all throughout the world, except Antarctica.

Aratilis – Photo Credit to Domestic Urbanite

Aratilis is one of the fruits that I love ever since I was a kid. Me and my friends would love to roam around our baranggay just to climb aratilis trees and when we got home we are carrying plastic bags filled with the small fruits.

Today, I can still see aratilis trees everywhere, they are even planted in islands in between main highways of Quezon City. They are still present, however, most of the kids I know don’t have the ideas that they are edible. Moreover, they are ignored.

Makopa

Way back 2009, when we took a vacation in a private resort in Bulacan, I saw lots of houses ignoring these wonderful fruits. They are just letting the fruits fall and rot on the ground. They don’t know what they are missing.

Makopa is a pink, bell-like fruit that is scientifically known as Syzygium Samarangense. The inside flesh is white and pulpy, it like eating a crunchy cotton. The fruits ranges from acrid to sweet.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) earlier reported that makopa can lower down blood glucose preventing eyes, kidneys and nerve damages.

Dragon Fruit

Way back, my high school and college days, I used to see dragon fruits in groceries and supermarkets. I’m curious about it, but wasn’t able to have it as this comes expensive.

I found this plant weird as the outside is like a creature in a fantasy film plus the inside is a flesh with lots of black seeds.

This fruit actually came from a cactus plant. There are lots of farm taking care of the cactus as it doesn’t need extra care. The only reason that the fruit is expensive is that it only bears fruit once a year.

I love the red as it’s sweetest of all.

Chilean Gooseberry

Pardon me, I don’t really know the name of the fruit I used to eat every time I take a vacation in Pangasinan. I only found Chilean Gooseberry as the closest resemblance.

The locals in my mom’s birth place ignore this fruit. I even challenged my aunt if she knows it or not and I won. She told me that it was poisonous, but I am quite sure it’s edible. So I ate it and again, I won.

I found this one weird as the fruit is covered by a petal-like part of the plant. You can tell if it’s already ripe when you can already see the fruit inside.

It’s like eating a tomato that tastes like a sweet pineapple.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Learn more the author of this post:

Ringo
I am Ringo and allow me to say not an ordinary man. I've been working home base since 2009 and as of now, has no plans of returning to corporate. Web designer. Frustrated chef. Foodie. Good son (ehem!). Good father (to two labrador retrievers). And, a servant of God.

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