Monday, April 27, 2009


It’s probably non-existent in markets now – I was able to buy some early in April, but wasn’t able to post about it at once due to a long list of other things to write about, and some problems with my internet connection.

Pekak, belonging to the same family as the kamansi and rimas/arimas (commonly known as breadfruit), only makes its appearance for a few weeks upon the onset of summer, early March to April.

Not that I look forward to its being in season – the fibrous pulp is softly chewy, but each segment has several pesky little round seeds that are inedible most of the time – too hard to chew on, or the skin much like a thin hard plastic cover that it’s best to spit them out. Too annoying and too distracting.

The fruit is such a pain to harvest and peel, even – it’s full of sap, so much more than its relatives that it requires gloves, or a lot of oil on one’s palms, that it’s usually sold peeled, segmented and ready to cook.

The sap that flows, upon harvest, coats the fruits and renders them black. Pekak is the smallest among its relatives, the size of a big fist. Kamansi and rimas easily grow to about two or three times bigger.

Pekak, kamansi and rimas are the “savory” fruits in the family, eaten unripe – the more immature the better - as a vegetable in a stew salted with bagoong, with other vegetables such as okra and sitaw (yard-long beans). Their “sweet” relatives langka and marang - the humongous and biggest – and the medium-sized durian are made to ripen and be pungent, though pungently sweet.

But all the sweet species are common, plus the kamansi. Pekak is seasonal, and cannot be found in large quantities, while rimas is very rarely seen in the part of Pangasinan where I grew up (central region).

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Anonymous said...

hello kai,

this is interesting cause i was googling for pekak/pakak (artocarpus treculianus) photo and your blog came up. i didn't know that pakak fruits are cooked and eaten as kamansi until i read your write up. i'm looking for artocarpus seedlings/wildlings/seeds specifically the indigenous artocarpus of the philippines to grow in my farm in bulacan and share with fellow members of our egroup. i already have anubing, antipolo, marang & kamansi there, all are related of course. you're one of the few in the web whom i could probbly ask for assistance in finding ripe fruits or wildlings since you've probably seen it many times. i worked for a bank also but just for 5 years, now a happy farmer. i'll leave you my email

thanks & regards,

Kai said...

Ok, Rey, I'll email you once I discover where I can get pekak saplings. My curiousity was perked by your interest in the artocarpus family.

I'm trying my hand at gardening, too, though only in ornamentals. I haven't succeeded in planting fruit trees yet, only herbs and ginger. I'd love to visit your retirement farm someday.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much kai.

if you have a bigger planting area, i could send you some fruit seeds from time to time so you can try your hand on them. Farming or gardening is relaxing and gives you a sense that you are giving back something to nature; why i stick to it. you can come and visit the farm whenever you have time, i'm usually there during weekends. just email me ahead. must let you know though that it's not a retirement farm, i'm still very much capable of working hahaha.


Kai said...

It's never too early to retire, that's my motto, hehehe!

Thanks, I'll let you know. As for fruit seeds, we've been saving all the seeds from the fruits we eat daily at breakfast, and from the kalamansi for our daily juice, but so far we haven't had anything sprouting yet, haha.

Dimples said...

Hi Ms. Kai! I was just wondering if you have any idea where to get Pekak seedlings? Also breadfruit (Rimas) rooted cuttings? My email po is Thanks!

Kai said...

Dimples, sorry, these trees are hard to find in my area right now. I think you'd get lucky in the Laguna/Batangas area.