March 30, 2015
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A guest house welcome sign on a jackfruit tree
Langka (jackfruit) is normally cooked as vegetable when unripe as in the ginataang langka of the Philippines, or the gudeg of Yogyakarta. It is typically eaten raw when ripe, though usually candied if used as dessert ingredient – halo-halo for instance. This is royalty in the kingdom of fruits.
Undoubtedly a tropical fruit tree
Similarly, a papaya fruit when unripe is usually cooked as vegetable in tinolang manok for example and eaten raw when reddish or golden ripe. The green unripe papayas are also grated and made into delectable salad like the one I had in Thailand, or it can be pickled, as in atchara. Give me papaya over apple or oranges anytime.
Very sweet Zambales mangoes
And here is one reason why I won’t leave the Philippines – mango. I have tried mangoes in other countries but not one of them can beat the taste of Philippine mangoes. The moment I tasted its sweet ripe meat, all political ugliness of the country became tolerable.
This is the normal way to serve ripe mango though it is more fun to just peel off the soft skin and bite…juices dripping
November 23, 2014
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Ondeh-ondeh c/o Mr Ibrahim's hospitality at his traditional house in Kampung Morten
Ondeh-ondeh is one of the many variations of kuih (confection) in Malaysia. Made from glutinous rice flour, mashed sweet potato and tapioca flour, then filled with palm sugar, and covered in desiccated coconut. It’s their pichi-pichi in looks and taste, minus the sweet burst of palm sugar at the core which I’m so fond about the ondeh-ondeh. See, even the name repetition of Filipino kakanin pichi-pichi is another similarity to the kuih.
Fallen fruits of Melaka tree
Pertaining to the kuih’s green color and round shape, there’s a reason for that, which made it distinctly Melakan.
I'm pretending to be Parameswara looking up at this Melaka tree
Notably, ondeh-ondeh’s other name is Buah Melaka (translated as Melaka Fruit). So the kuih got its name and appearance from Melaka fruit like how the Melaka State got its name from Melaka tree.
My host says Melaka fruit is not edible
Ondeh-ondeh's ad somewhere at Jonker street
September 29, 2014
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Apart from the coconut tree, talisay is very common in the beaches and islands in the country. Not only that, talisay is everywhere inland and abundant in the cities. I started counting them inside the village in one of my runs last week.
The fruit of talisay is green and hard and will turn dark brown when ripe. I’ve seen banca builders and local kids snacking on them. They’d pound the fruit with rock to separate the husk and eat right away the kernel.
Brown when ripe
UPLB Research, Development and Extension has developed a technology in processing talisay fruit as table nuts. According to their description, the product is crispy and almond-like in flavor. For your information, the status of the patent is public domain.
Evidence of talisay eating session
Meanwhile, I shall mentally tally the talisay trees along the path of my 7 kilometer run loop inside the village. Afterwards, double check my numbers in the succeeding loop.
Pounding the hard husk to extract the edible kernel