Thursday, August 18, 2011

Apayas, Ponti, Pinya

These fruits are available year-round, though they vary in volume and price, and the degree of sweetness, at certain times.

Papayas, called apayas in Pangasinan, and pawpaw outside the country, are cheap throughout, going at Php20-25 per kilo. In photo above are the native variety, which grow out in humongous sizes.

The skin is thick and smooth, the flesh either yellow-orange or a deep pink.The numerous seeds that congregate in the hollow at the center are white that turn black when the fruit is suffiently ripe.

We utilize apayas unripe, for vegetable dishes raw and cooked, and ripe for breakfast. It is a powerful laxative, and rumor says it also an antidote to viagra, that's why priests and those who chose to be celibate have to have papayas regularly in their diet.

But inhibitors aside, papayas are among the top fruits in terms of vitamins and minerals packed into them, so there's always one or two big ones in our weekly fruit basket.

Bananas also have to be ever-present in our dining table, or some members of the family would start whining. I usually buy a bunch weekly, alternating between lakatan and tondal or latundan, which is reputedly good for children. Elders would actually insist on only the latundan variety for babies up to two years, as infants supposedly cannot digest the other kinds.

With lakatan, the length is a deterrent - the kids cannot finish one through. And with the tropical heat, I'd always have over-ripe bananas towards the end of the week that the kids wouldn't touch. Which I just bake into banana bread. But we can only have banana cake every so often.

So one time I was asking the banana vendors if they have smaller or shorter bananas, and I was pointed to the señorita variety.

They were short and squat, like fat thumbs. And sweet, but with a somewhat bitter edge. Which made me understand why it is not such a popular variety.

Pineapples, though a summer fruit, have been made to be able to blossom anytime during the year, so we eat them even during the rainy season. The sweet variety, though - the small, compact ones - bear fruit in droves during the summer. These are very sweet and not abrasive to the tongue even though the skin is still green.

Under the sun they ripen fast, but with this color pineapples are already leaching bubbling juice, and taste fermented.

Related Posts
Papaya at Sitaw
Sigarillas, Papaya, Gabi
Leyte Pineapples
Pineapple Juice Chicken
Davao Fruits


flipster said...

Hi Kai, those fruits are so mouth watering, we have them here in California but they don't taste like those due to the USDA regulation of steam fumigation as a prevention from insect infestation. Ergo, they taste like cooked fresh fruit. Best regards.

Kai said...

Oh a pity....

Anonymous said...

Overripe bananas are good for making smoothies-add cold milk or soya milk plus sugar to taste, some ice, then blend until smooth in a blender.

Kai said...

Yes, thanks, that's a mighty powerful energy shake to start the day!