Southeast Asia is well-known for many things – culture, food, and an eagerness to be the best at everything. Malaysia has its food streets, Singapore’s garden city, Laos has its temples, and Thailand has culture like you would not believe.
The Philippines, however, seems to be a little different from the others. Sure, it has its celebrated culture, well-preserved relics of days gone by, and some phenomenal food. Heck, it even has a bunch of Eco parks to rival the greenery of Singapore! However, unlike most of the others, it produces and exports a lot of its own fruits all around the world.
Let’s talk about a few!
The Philippines’ national fruit is the Philippine mango; and what a great choice for a national fruit. Back in 1995, the Philippine mango entered the Guinness Book of Records as the sweetest in the world and it is very hard to dispute that fact.
Mangos are available in all different varieties all around the country. Some are eaten while they’re still green as a sour snack, while others, like the Philippine mango and its various strains, are usually enjoyed when they’re ripe and sweet.
Fruits like pineapples and bananas are known globally as having a home in the Philippines; here are a few that you may not have known that come from the Philippines to your stores!
Sure, this is neither a surprise nor a fruit. However, no visit to a tropical country is complete without sipping coconut juice on the beach, and the Philippines is no exception!
Larger varieties are not usually imported from the Philippines, but the smaller varieties can be! The Filipino papaya carries the usual, rich tang, and yet carries a slight bitterness near the end, creating a wonderful balance of flavours. Locally, the papayas are not only eaten sweet, but strips of the pickled, raw, unripe papaya are also used in a papaya salad, Atchara!
Limes are generally found in cooler climates in the summertime, where they are allowed the intensity of the sun, but without the heat. The Philippines, however, has a strain of lemon/lime, fondly called calamansi. The juice of this fruit is intensely sour and is commonly used not only in sauces but also in cold juices, for the ever-important influx of vitamin C.
Yet another of the citrus family, the mandarin is not found all over the land, instead only at higher altitudes. Eden Park in Davao is one of the places that grow them on a larger scale.
Speaking of higher altitudes, the strawberry can also be found here! Baguio is one of the few places that actually produce these wonderful little fruits.
Many of you may not be familiar with this fruit, but it is well-loved in the Philippines (and some other parts of South-East Asia). They come in bunches of little balls, covered in a thin, loose brown skin, peeling away to reveal little segments of white, sweet flesh. A must-try, especially during the harvest festivals!
Thanks to the unique layout of the Philippines, it is blessed with a whole range of climates. This has allowed many, many varieties of fruit to flourish, and the biodiversity and the people have been able to reap its benefits.
From the king, the durian, down to the little local berries, such as sapinit and bignay, this country has an abundance of fruits. You’ll be surprised, maybe the next time you purchase an imported fruit, you’ll find that it came from right here in the Philippines!