Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fruits for a change

We have many fruits in the property in the province. Some of them are also seasonal in fruiting, while some have fruits throughout the year. Dry season fruits (March to May) include avocado, while chico and citrus are normally harvested in Dec to Jan after the rainy season. Jackfruit and pomelo on the other hand, fruit anytime of the year though more fruits are harvested in the dry season. Mango fruits, due to its high commercial demands are already studied to fruit out of season, so different parts of the country produce fruits at different months of the year. That allows us to eat mango fruits all year round, although of course off-season fruits are more expensive. All these mentioned fruits have available species and varieties available in the country.

avocado (Persea americana)

The above photo is not the very prolific fruiting tree, but i include it because it is beautiful against the blue sky. We also have 2 distinct varieties distinguishable by their colors when ripe. One is green and the other is purple. But variation in quality is so high as many trees come from seeds, which come from highly hybridized seeds. Big fruit orchards however get high quality asexually developed seedlings. Do you know that avocado fruits will not ripen unless severed from the tree? That's just a food for thought! 

chico (Achras zapota or Manilkara zapota) 

Chico (or zapodilla in other parts of the world) are cultivated in most Asian countries and South America. In the Philippines, it was believed to be introduced during the Spanish colonization. We have 5 big trees in our property and the birds and fruit bats have very noticeable activity in time for harvesting. Birds flock there during the day, while fruit bats attack at night. They are very keen on which fruits are already ripe, so they always go ahead from us in harvesting the ripe fruits. To circumvent their habits, the people harvest them at mature hard stage and let them ripen at home. But of course, tree-ripened fruits are always more sweet and delicious.

jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)

Jackfruit fruits are normally eaten when ripe but very immature ones are also used as vegetables. When cooked with coconut milk and spices, it makes a very good delicacy. The seeds of ripe fruits are sometimes also boiled and eaten as snacks. It is very high in carbohydrates. Ripe fruits are normally processed to sweets as desserts and as ingredients in making ice cream.

pomelo (Citrus grandis)
lanzones (Lansium domesticum)

Lanzones is also a seasonal fruit, which is harvested during the rainy season, August to September. These are tall trees when seedlings are from seeds. We have a few trees around the house, but 4 trees died during the last long dry season. Lansones fruits are best when harvested at already fully ripe stage. If not, it is usually sour and the skin has sticky latex. Because ours are just near the house, we thought we can allow them to fully mature before harvest. However, those fruit bats are really deprived of other fruits that they try to deprive us of our share. They harvest them even at the sour stage which are not yet palatable for humans. In the mornings, a lot of peels are scattered on the ground, which means the bats bit us again in this game. We tried to wrap them with newspapers, but they know how to tear the wraps and get the fruits inside. We also tried putting a light bulb through the night, but they did not let up, they still stole them. They are not really letting us have more of our trees. At any rate we were able to taste a few.


  1. I love hearing about your garden on the other side of the world. Out of the fruit you mentioned, I have only had avocado. I feel deprived not being able to try the others but have never seen them for sale. Carolyn

  2. I have not seen an avocado tree around here. What happens if no one harvest them? Would the fruits drop eventually? Your land looks big. Is it on highland?

  3. Oh, I wish I could grow some of these exotic fruits! Avocados are a favorite but like Carolyn I have never had any of the others you show. I would love to have fresh mangos too! Beautiful Andrea! Thank you so much for your very kind comments.

  4. Your fruit trees in your province reminds me so much of my home long ago. Home grown fruits are free of pesticides and taste so much sweeter. Nowadays, I see people use some kind of plastic wrap/netting to cover the fruits. In Malaysia, some Western cafes are using the jackfruit in salads and it tastes great. When I was little, we boil the jackfruit seeds with some salt, peel off the skin and eat the flesh. Have you tried this?

    You chico is 'ciku' here and lanzones are 'langsat'

  5. I remember a visit long ago to Florida. I stayed at a friend's house. In the morning I walked out in his yard and picked a grapefruit. A freshly picked citrus sure beats the taste of like fruit that one purchases in a grocery store!

  6. Just like the taste of a homegrown tomato the taste of a homegrown citrus must be so delicious.

    I never knew that about avocados Andrea but it must be wonderful to have mangos most of the year.

    If you tried to net the trees would that prevent the bats from getting at the fruit or would the bats chew their way through the netting?

    Do you grow limes?

    It's still snowing here - no bread or milk in the shops today.

  7. Wow! You have a lot of fruit trees! So lucky! These are all common "collector" trees in our area, but I am not much of a fruit grower, due to my small lot. Just a few bananas, and a Cherry of the Rio Grande, which is stripped of unripe fruit by the birds before we get to pick any as well. So, yes, I completely understand your frustration with the bats. The bats in my neck of the woods are insectivores, though, so they are welcome.

  8. This is so interesting.These are fruits which I usually might only see in the grocery store,and most of which I have never tasted.

  9. Carolyn~~your avocado variety is the one with corrogated skin, not very nice to look at but very good taste. Ours have very shiny and nice skin but not as tasty as your 'Haas' avocado. So we put milk and honey or sugar and shake it. But i normally eat mine unprocessed, just with a bit sugar. Good cholesterol source!

    One~~hehe, yes eventually the avocado fruit will drop or something will let it drop like the birds. Our land is not big depending on the standard,it could be like beauty, which depends on the beholder. It is upland not flat, but not really many MASL, so temperature is not cooler yet.

    Carol~~i am sure you have pomelo exported by other tropical countries, these are the big citrus you see in the supermarket, sweet not as tangy or sour as grapefruit. You should have tasted our 'Carabao' mangoes from the Philippines. It is not the 'Manila' mangoes from Mexico, which confuse the consumers. Ours is really sweet, non-fibrous and the balance of sweetness and sourness is perfect, haha!

    Autumn Belle~~yes our farms in Malaysia and Philippines look the same because we have the same climate and topography. Yes i sometimes eat the seeds of jackfruit too, i mentioned it in the post. Yes i also know your ciku and langsat, though i haven't tasted them in Malaysia, only in Bangkok.

    Linda~~yes the freshly picked fruits are the best, especially if they are fully mature or ripe when picked. We also have oranges but not as your oranges there like the 'Navel'. We have different species but many cultivars. We also have 6 trees near our house and maybe i will post them next time for part two of our fruits.

    Rosie~~ hehe, yes nets might prevent the fruit bats, but it is difficult to install, besides we need lots of it to cover the whole trees. Anyway, we just enjoy what are left for us. About limes, we have another species or variety unlike yours, we also have this very sour citrus like lemons and another sour citrus also which are small-round ones we use in cooking. I hope your snow will get tired soonest!

    Florida~~you mean this are collector trees there? yes people are like that, we always appreciate what we dont have! Do you know that some of our Christmas trees here are white, depicting winter!!! Crazy tradition.

    Ruth~~you should try tasting the exotic fruits. That is what i normally do when in a foreign country and it is quite exciting. Firstly, you should pretend to be a bird and later on when you get used to eat, return to normal, haha!

  10. I got Chico growing in my garden.
    Often infested with mealybug & ants, so much so I had given up harvesting the fruit. I did notice 2 well formed fruit which is not disturbed by any pest.
    Hope I manage to harvest before any attack takes place.

  11. Andrea,
    Like most of the others mentioned other than avocados and mangos not treid the others. I think Compare Foods might have Jackfruits, they are an ethic food market. I'll look for them the next time I shop there.

  12. Hi Andrea, Boy have I learned a lot about fruit in today's post. I had no idea avocados had to be picked to ripen. I love love love guacamole. And jackfruit? Never even heard of it. I will be looking in the store the next time I go. Those birds and bats sure are smart critters. Frustrating too!

    P.S. Skeeter saw your comment and thanked you very much.

  13. i love chico! ... we pronounce it chiku here. ~bangchik

  14. When in Costa Rica I tried many unusual fruit picked from the trees. I was with a girl from Colombia so at least she knew what we were eating. There is so much variety out there and much to try. It was my first time eating papaya and mango. I think we ate jack fruit too. It looks familiar. It was fun seeing all the unusual fruit in your photos and learning about avocados. Pesky bats.

  15. I love this time of year when the citrus fruit begins to ripen. In some areas, Javelinas love to take the fruit from the tree much like your fruit bats do.

  16. Jackfruit is my favorite among the fruits you've listed here. Alas, it is just a little too cold in the winter here to grow them. I don't believe I've ever had the Lansium domesticum. Would like to try it sometime.

  17. Randy~~you might not find fresh jackfruits in Asian markets as they have very short shelf life. But maybe there are freeze-dried or processed in syrup bottles available. I just dont know if the vacuum fried ones already reached US markets.

    James~~since you only have 2 fruits it is easy to manage, you can spray it with dissolved detergent or wipe the leaves with that. What is difficult is our several trees if infested, how can we do that?

    Tina~~ how i wish i can send you and Roxanne some fresh jackfruits but it is not possible yet for its very short storage life. Maybe you should just look for jackfruit ice cream, hehe.

    Bangchik ~~ yes i know it is chiku there, Malaysia and Thailand have lots of them too.

    Carolyn ~~ it's nice to know you are familiar with most of our fruits, yes i am sure Costa Rica have them too. I have a teacher also in college who has been horticulturist consultant now in Costa Rica and also professor there.

    Noelle ~~ do you know that most of our citrus fruits are green when ripe? That is because our temps are high.

    Jim ~~ jackfruit is my favorite also among the fruits, mango is just 2nd, mangosteen is third. Yes it is too stressful from these fruits to be growing in your climate.

  18. Nice tropical trees. I have seen all these except avocado. I only know the fruits and not the tree.

  19. Does it seem like there are more bats around this year or am I imagining that? Good array of local fruits today. I must laugh, because although of course I've seen both the green and purple avocados, I never twigged that they are different varieties. And I've never seen pomelos on a tree. Cool!

    [I am in the south at the edge of the metropolis near Muntinlupa.]

  20. Hi.. beautiful pictures.. i really liked.. I will keep coming by to see this wonderful space you have.

  21. I love seeing all your wonderful fruits and on occasion a friend will bring me Mango. My oh my do we love them.

  22. Thank you very much for your visits and comments.

    Aaron~~ avocado is the most common among them, maybe you just don't know yet how it looks like. Ask some elders when you go to the kampung.

    Francisca~~hahaha, yes Francisca they are two varieties. But the purple is also green when not yet ripe. The green variety just lighten its hue when already ripe. And yes the bats increased in numbers this year, maybe no more food from their old sources.

    Dejemonos sorprender~~thanks for visiting the other side of your world, though maybe you also have fruits like this in Argentina.

    Diana~~when you buy mango, try to ask some Filipinos there for the 'carabao' mango and you will see the difference i am talking about. Thanks for dropping by.


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