Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Less Popular Fruits in the Philippines

Dr. Abe V. Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio

738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

Visit a fruit stand. There are many kinds of fruits coming from different parts of the Philippines. They have unique characteristics in taste, which can't be compared with imported fruits. They take us to a travelogue to their indigenous sources.

Balimbing (Averrhoa balimbi)

Lanzones from Paete, marang from South Cotabato, pomelo from Davao, manggang kalabao from Zambales, strawberry from Baguio, "Formosa" piña from Bicol, durian from Maguindanao, dalangita from Cavite, pakwan from Candaba.

Horticulture may have succeeded in acclimatizing several of these fruits outside of their indigenous origins, but these are inferior in taste and yield.

Today there is a proliferation of introduced fruits or fruits developed through hybridization. They have displaced many of our native varieties. But native chico is still sweeter than the ponderosa, native guava is sweeter and more aromatic than the guapple. The aroma of the apple mango is hardly traced to our carabao mango. And you can't make jams, jellies, pickles, wine and vinegar from them. Or it would be quite expensive to do so.

The truth is that, the fruit stand is a poor showroom of Philippine fruits. There are a lot of fruits that are not so popular for certain reasons, among them their seasonal nature and "uneconomic" market value. Simply others have not been fully explored of their potential significance.

Here is a list of the minor fruits of the Philippines, often referred to as “promising fruits” because of their great potential in agriculture and industry, for both domestic and foreign markets.

Atis or sugar apple

1. Atis (Anona squamosa)
2. Avocado (Persia americana)
3. Balimbing (Averrhoa carambola)
4. Kamias (Averrhoa balimbi)
5. Caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito)

6. Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)
7. Chico (Manikara zapota syn., Achras zapota)
8. Duhat (Syzygium cumini)
9. Durian (Durio zibethinus)
10. Grapes (native) (Vitis vinifera)

11. Guava (Psidium guajava)
12. Guyabano (Anona muricata)
13. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)
14. Lanzones (Lansium domesticum)
15. Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana)
16. Pili (Canarium ovatum)
17. Rambutan (Nephalium appaceum)
18. Rimas (Artocarpus altilis)
19. Kamansi (A. camansi)
20. Santol (Sandoricum koetjape)

Caimito (Chrysophylum cainito)

21. Siniguelas (Spondias purpurea)
22. Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)
23. Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
24. Tiessa (Poteria campechiana)

Here are other noteworthy fruits.

25. Bago (Gnetum gnenum)
26. Bignay (Antidesma bunuis)
27. Biriba (Rollina deliciosa syn R. orthopetala)
28. Chico-Mamey (Pouteria sapota syn., Calocarpum sapota)
29. Datiles (Muntingia calabura)
30. Kalumpit (Terminalia microcarpa)

31. Kamachili (Pithecolobium dulce)
32. Kayam (Inocarpus eduluis)
33. Mabolo (Diospyrus blancoi)
34. Makopa (Syzygium samarangense)
35. Manzanitas (Ziziphus jujuba)

36. Marang (Artocarpus pdoratoissima)
37. Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis)
38. Granadilla (Punica granatum)
39. Tampoy (Syzygium jambos), relative of duhat and macopa
40. Fig (Relative of Smyrna fig)

Many native fruits await inclusion in this list. There are those known only in a particular place, likely after their dialect names. There are species in the endangered list such assapote, anonang (a relative of the atis), karamay and batocanag. Others are growing in the wild such as paho, a wild species of mango, awaiting to be discovered.

For entrepreneurs, it is an opportunity to popularize these fruits. To the environmentalists, help save them before they finally disappear. ~

Reference: Promising Fruits of the Philippines by Dr. Roberto E. Coronel, UPLB, Laguna.

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