SINIGWELAS

The word is from the Spanish ciruelas, meaning “plums.”

Sinigwelas: Jocote of the Philippines

Sinigwelas is the fruit that Latin Americans call jocote. Its scientific name is Spondias furpurea.

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Mangoes of the Philippines

Mangga is the Tagalog word for ‘mango.’

Green Carabao Mangoes on Tree
The most common variety of mango in the Philippines is what Americans refer to as champagne mango. It’s been called Manila mango, Ataulfo mango (named after its Mexican grower) and Honey mango.  Filipinos call it manggang kalabaw (carabao mango) while the Philippine government refers to it as ‘Manila Super Mango’ and is reportedly in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world.

Other popular mango varieties in the Philippines are Pico (Piko), Katchamita (Indian) and Pahutan (Mangifera altissima).

Ripe Carabao Mangoes

The Manila mango is more slender than the large mango varieties such as the Tommy Atkins or Kent with which Americans are familiar. The Filipino mangga has yellow-orange skin which wrinkles once it is very ripe. The flesh has an almost buttery texture and is very, very sweet.

In other countries, a mango is peeled with a knife akin to the way you’d peel an apple. This is possible because the mango variety they are peeling has very firm, not so juicy flesh. Peeling a ripe Filipino mango this way is almost impossible because the flesh is too soft.

Philippine Mango: Hedgehog Cut
Philippine Mango: Hedgehog Cut

Filipinos slice up a ripe Manila mango lengthwise, producing three flat slices, the middle slice containing the large seed. With the outer slices, you either scoop out the flesh with a spoon or make cubes using the “hedgehog” method — make a crisscross grid with a knife, turn the flesh out with your hands and then scrape off the chunks.

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KAONG

Kaong is sweet palm fruit, most notably used as an ingredient in haluhalo. It’s the fairly small jellybean-shaped nut or seed of the sugar palm tree, which of course grows in the Philippines.

Scientific name: Arenga pinnata

What Color is Kaong?

Though kaong is traditonally without color (translucent white), in recent years, colored versions like red, green and even pink have come onto the market.

Kaong: Red and Green
Kaong: Red and Green Jellybeans?
Want to see RAW kaong nuts and how they're harvested? Check out aboutfilipinofood.com/kaong

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ARATILES

Scientific name: Muntingia calabura

Variations on spelling: aratilis, aratiles, aratalis

A tree whose individual fruits resemble American cranberries, which are from shrubs.

Aratiles fruit

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GUYABANO

This word is from the Spanish guanábana.

guyabano
soursop

 

Guyabano

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DUHAT

Duhat is a local Philippine fruit that’s commonly referred to in English as Java plum. Continue reading “DUHAT”

NIYOG

Buwig ng Niyog

 

niyog
coconut

bao ng niyog
coconut shell

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SUSO

This word has different meanings, according to accent.

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