Mansanas, ubas, saging, pakwan, milón, langkâ, mangga, guyabano, suhŕ, atis, sineguelas, duhat, chesa, mabolo, macopa?
Ilan lang ’yan sa mga prutas na kinagigiliwan ng maraming Filipino, lalo na ng mga nakatatanda at ng mga doon sa Pilipinas nagkaisip at matagal na nanirahan. Sasabihin pa nga nila na sa Pilipinas lang matatagpuan ang karamihan sa mga iyan. Ang akala kasi nila ang karamihan sa mga prutas na ’yan ay “native” o lehitimo sa Pilipinas. Ngunit kabaligtaran ng kaalaman ng marami, halos lahat ay galing sa kultura ng mga bansang minsang nakipagkalakalan o umokupa sa Pilipinas—tulad ng mga mangangalakál na Intsik, Malay, Indonesians, at iba pang mga kapwa Asyano; Europeans na gaya ng Portuguese at Spaniards; at s’yempre mga Amerikano. At dahil sa matagal nang tumutubo nang naturál sa Pilipinas ang mga prutas na ito, e itinuring na silang Philippine fruits. Kaya hindi dapat kagulat-gulat na ang bawat isa ay merong katumbas na pangalan sa Ingles.
Kaya kung halimbawa ikaw ay kumakain ng guyabano sa lunch room ng iyong pinagtatrabahuhan, at merong katrabahong ibang lahi na nagtanong kung ano ang iyong kinakain, e hindi ka na mahihirapang magpaliwanag.
Here are some fruits that have long been regarded as a part of Filipino culture, with their English names and significant information about each of them.
Atis – sugar apple or sweetsop; native to the tropical Americas whose exact native range is unknown due to extensive cultivation, but thought to have originated from the Caribbean, particularly from Jamaica; usually round or oval, with a scaly or lumpy greenish skin, white to light-yellow flesh, and long, hard, and shiny blackish-brown seeds that are scattered through the fruit’s flesh.
Chesa – canistel or “eggfruit”; native to Mexico and Brazil; shiny and smooth, thin orange-yellow skin; sweet flesh with a texture comparable to that of cooked egg yolk, hence its colloquial name “eggfruit”; with 1 to 4 hard oval light-brown seeds around the core.
Duhat – Java plum or Indian blackberry; native to India, Pakistan, and Indonesia; also grown in Myanmar and Afghanistan; ovoid; green when just appearing, pink when attaining near maturity, and shiny crimson-black when fully ripe; sweet but with a slightly sub-acid and astringent aftertaste; leaves a purple color on the tongue when eaten; contains single large oblong whitish pit.
Guyabano – soursop; native to the Caribbean, Central and South Americas, from Brazil to the West Indies; heart-shaped, with a bumpy greenish skin, white interior pulp studded with many large brown to blackish seeds; the pockets of soft flesh are bounded by fibrous membranes.
Langkâ – jackfruit; native to India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka; the national fruit of Bangladesh and Indonesia; huge and elongated, with spiny greenish to light-yellow skin and sweet yellow sheaths of flesh around oval light-brown to black seeds.
Mabolo – velvet apple; native to the Philippines; have been introduced into Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Cuba; skin covered with fine, velvety, short, usually reddish-brown fur; soft, creamy, pink flesh; usually seedless; but when seeded, 4 to 8 brown, smooth, wedge-shaped seeds are present standing in a circle around the central core.
Macopa – water apple or bell fruit; native to Malaysia and Indonesia; also cultivated in tropical regions such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India; bell-shaped, with smooth thin light-pink to reddish skin similar to that of an apple, white crunchy and very juicy flesh; its pit has a cottony texture.
Sineguelas – Spanish plum or purple mombin; native to tropical regions of the Americas, naturalized in the Philippines and Nigeria; oval drupe, ripening red, occasionally greenish-yellow skin; contains single large woody pit.
Suhŕ – pomelo or Chinese grapefruit; native to Southeast Asia, especially to Malaysia; grows wild in Fiji, Tonga, and Hawaii; widely cultivated in China, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, India, Vietnam, and New Guinea; grown commercially in USA (California and Florida) and Israel; the largest citrus fruit, with yellow-green thick porous skin and pale-yellow to pink to red pulp; tastes like a sweet grapefruit but with a mildly bitter aftertaste; the grapefruit is actually a hybrid between the pomelo and the orange.
Sa Madaling Salita
Bagama’t itinuturing nang bahagi ng Philippine culture ang lahat ng prutas na nabanggit sa artikulong ito, e hindi pa rin natin maipagkakailang nanggaling lang ang mga ito sa iba’t ibang kultura. Sabagay, sa panahon ngayon, wala na namang maituturing na púrong kultura. Ika nga, “Every so-called culture is no longer pure, for each is already a mixture of various cultures and subcultures.”