The peak season of the Philippines’ most popular fruits

June 4, 2018 - 11:28 AM
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There are lots of fruits in the Philippines but most are only available in certain seasons. What are they? (Creative Commons/Stock photo)

The Philippines is a tropical country that produces lots of fruits. It is no surprise then that people warmly received a post on Reddit that featured a seasonal chart of the country’s most popular fruits.

The chart by Reddit user “versonjohn” lists fruits that are ripe in particular months. The only fruits available year-round in the country are bananas, papayas and pomelos.

Some seasonal fruits in the Philippines

Atis (custard apple) 

Atis is also known as custard apples. (Pixabay/Stock photo)

Atis has lots of seeds that are coated with a soft sugary pulp that tastes like custard. The sweet fruit is available from September to December.

Banana 

The country is one of the top producers of bananas. (Pixabay/Stock photo)

Banana is considered the “most economically important fruit” in the country since it is one of the locally-produced fruits available throughout the year.

Chico (naseberry) 

Chico is also called an energy fruit because of its high sugar levels. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Chico has a sweet and malty flavor that has an edible coat. It’s also called an energy fruit because it has high levels of sugar. The fruit is available every January and February.

Dalanghita (mandarin orange) 

Dalanghitas are known as a symbol of good fortune every Chinese New Year. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Dalanghitas are considered an important fruit around Chinese New Year because it symbolizes good fortune. They are available from January to February and October to December.

Duhat (Java plum) 

Java plums are known to leave a “puckering” sensation in the mouth once eaten. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

The duhat leaves a dark violet stain on the tongue when eaten. It is likened to an astringent since it causes a “puckering sensation” in the mouth. These are available from March to July.

Durian 

Durians are notorious for their extremely strong smell but it’s also considered the “King of Fruits.” (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Durians are notorious for being smelly because of the mixture of several chemicals found in the fruit. Despite this, they are known as the “King of Fruits” partly due to its size, odor and prickly look. Durians are in season from August to October.

Guyabano (soursop) 

Guyabanos are used to produce juice and sweets, among others. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Guyabanos have a sweet pulp that is used to make juice, candies and ice cream flavorings. They are available from August to November.

Caimito (star apple) 

Caimitos (or “kaimitos”) are also known as star apples. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Caimitos are also known as star apples because of their star-like design when sliced in halves. It consists of two colors — white and purple. Caimitos are in season from January to March.

Langka (jackfruit) 

Langkas are usually mixed in banana cue recipes. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Langkas are usually mixed in halo-halo or banana cue recipes because of their sweet flavor. They are in season from March to May.

Lanzones 

The seeds of lanzones are bitter but its fruit is a mix of sweet and sour. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Lanzones are known for its sweet and sour taste but it becomes bitter if you taste its seed. They are available from August to December.

Mango 

The mango is known as the national fruit of the Philippines. (Creative Commons/Stock photo)

The mango is the national fruit of the country. One of its ripe varieties, the champagne mango, is considered the sweetest mango in the world. It is in season from March to June.

Mangosteen

The mangosteen is known as the “Queen of Fruits” because it resembles a queen’s crown when sliced in half. (Max Pixel/Stock photo)

If durian is the “King of Fruits,” then mangosteen is the “Queen of the Fruits” for its high antioxidant properties and crown-like shape once sliced. They are available from June to November.

Melon

Melons are usually mixed in salads or prepared as a juice in time for summer. (Creative Commons/Stock photo)

Melons are mixed with salads, halo-halo and sometimes even condensed milk. It is also used to prepare juice that is usually a hit during summer. They are available from April to July.

Pakwan (watermelon) 

Pakwans are also known as dessert fruits. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Pakwans are popular as desserts and is best eaten during summer because of its thirst-quenching properties. They are in season from March to July.

Papaya

Christopher Columbus reportedly called papaya the “Fruit of the Angels.” (Pixabay/Stock photo)

Papaya was purportedly called the “Fruit of the Angels” by explorer Christopher Columbus because of its sweet and soft, butter-like consistency. It is in season throughout the year.

Pineapple 

The Philippines is one of the largest producers of the tropical fruit. (Flickr/Victoria Rachitzky Hoch)

The Philippines is the second largest producer of pineapples next to Thailand. These fruits are exported to other countries as well. Pineapples are in season from May to July.

Rambutan

Rambutans may look like lychees but the former has seeds inside. (Pixabay/Stock photo)

The fruit is similar to lychee but rambutan has a seed inside. It is best eaten when it is bright red in color, which means it’s ripe and sweet. They are in season from August to October.

Sampaloc (tamarind) 

Sampalocs are used as flavorings or prepared as candies with sugar. (Pexels/Stock photo)

Tamarinds are usually used as a flavoring for savory dishes. They are also prepared as sugar-coated local candies. These fruits are available from October to December.

Santol (cotton fruit) 

Santol is also known as a cotton fruit because of its white, cotton-like membrane inside the fruit. (Flickr/whologwhy)

It is also known as a cotton fruit since there is a white cotton-like membrane inside once it is peeled. Some locals eat it with salt to add flavor. It is in season from July to September.

Siniguelas (Spanish plum) 

Siniguelas are also known as Spanish plums because they were introduced to the Filipinos by the Spaniards during colonization. (Wikimedia Commons/Stock photo)

Siniguelas are brought by the Spaniards during the colonization period, hence the name. It contains antioxidants that can help the body heal and repair. The fruit is available from April to June.

Suha (pomelo) 

Pomelos are considered the largest fruit in the citrus family. (Pixabay/Stock photo)

Pomelos are the largest fruit in the citrus family. They are also considered the cousins of grapefruit. Like the santol, some people also eat it with salt. These are available throughout the year.

The seasonality of fruits 

According to forum site Biology Stack Exchange, seed and fruit production heavily relies on the environment’s light, temperature and humidity changes.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver further explained in a document titled “Seasonality and sourcing your food:”

“Fruit and vegetables naturally grow in cycles, and ripen during a certain season each year. When they are ripe, they are at their best nutritionally and tastewise.”

“If you eat ‘seasonally’, you are eating fruit and vegetables during the time of year they are naturally at their best.”

Fruits that are sold in local markets during their respective off-season are either imported or grown in specific conditions such as in greenhouses.

Oliver continued:

“Food that’s in season is generally fresher, tastier and better for you than food grown out of season.”

“It’s had time to grow and develop all of its nutrients and flavors. It is often cheaper, as it is usually grown locally and there is lots of it around.”