Friday, October 26, 2012


It's the height of lanzones season now, and the festival celebrating what's known to be the sweetest variety - grown in Camiguin, a small, enchanted volcanic island in Northeastern Mindanao - is just wrapping up. 

In Luzon the preferred variety comes from Laguna, and it's the selling point of vendors - matamis yan, galing sa Laguna yan - much like another vendor would say his mangoes came from Pangasinan, or his bangus from Dagupan, etc., to score more sales. 

Laguna lanzones is indeed sweet, but it'd be sour placed side by side with Camiguin. 

the black ants that rode in an A320

They say black ants ants crawling all over are a sure sign of sweetness, but then enterprising vendors have been reported to catch colonies of black ants to drop them over their carts of lanzones. 

What I have been seeing these past few weeks are big globules of fruit, and for me that's a sure sign of big, fat seeds that taste bitter. So I haven't been buying. Though I have an officemate from Laguna who brings bunches of lanzones from their backyard trees after weekends, and I make sure to get some. They're big, but they're sure to be sweet. 

In Mindanao, though, and I mean all over the island and not just in Camiguin, the medium-sized lanzones are so sweet they are a threat to Pangasinan mangoes. So, so sweet, it's almost not a lanzones. The segments are all juice and flesh, and that one seed in one segment is so little it's almost non-existent. Just pop and pop, no need to spit out a pesky seed, it's easy to swallow, no worries about a large lanzones tree developing in your nether regions.

But it's a sweet lanzones year. Even Luzon lanzones are satisfactorily sweet. Which is probably why the price has been steadily in the Php80-100 range with no sign of going down. Just pick out the small ones.

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Genskie said...

this post made me wanna run to the market and buy myself a kilo of lanzones!

Kai said...

You're like my daughter. She appropriates a kilo to herself ;-).

DanB said...

Great post on lanzones. I recently went to great lengths to get my fresh lanzones fix(as in road trip to Ontario,Canada)LOL. I'm a big fan of your blog, a fellow Pangasinense hailing from that town north of yours (where tall old mangoes line the highway), and also fellow UP alum. I thoroughly enjoy and relate to your posts. Keep them coming!
Cheers from the Chesapeake Bay region.

Kai said...

Cheers DanB! Didn't know there was lanzones in Ontario!

DanB said...

Canada seems to have more relaxed importation regs for fresh tropical fruits compared to the U.S. You can find frozen lanzones in the U.S.( and hot water-treated fruits,like mangoes) but I haven't seen fresh lanzones here yet. My guess is, that the US is very careful about hitchhiking fruit flies which can devastate the CA and FL citrus industry. No such industry in Canada, as you know. In addition, fruit flies will not survive Canadian winters.

Kai said...

Haha right. I don't think we export fruits to the US, except maybe directly processed from the plantations in Mindanao. Asia na lang ata destination ng mga fresh fruits natin. Good for you then.

Anonymous said...

i accidentally swallowed the seeds is it safe?

Anonymous said...

I would love to have a taste of Lanzones; haven't tasted one since 1972!!!! A friend gave me frozen ones in San Diego and they were awful. When's the best time to go to Toronto for Lanzones, anyone ????

Cielo Alegre said...

Surrey Canada has the best lanzones.I was there last week.succulent and sweet.(Henlong Market) it's 45 min away from downtown Vancouver

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What if you swallow the seed of lanzones?