Calamansi (spelled kalamansi in native Tagalog orthography) is a small, very round citrus fruit that’s ubiquitous in the Philippines. The fruits are often used when the thin rind is still green on the outside, and that is the color associated with it.
Scientific name: Tamarindus indica
Scientific name: Muntingia calabura
Variations on spelling: aratilis, aratiles, aratalis
A tree whose individual fruits resemble American cranberries, which are from shrubs.
The mabolo is the fruit of the Philippine tree with the scientific name Diospyros blancoi. It is sometimes spelled mabulo.
In English, it has been known as velvet apple or velvet persimmon. The adjective velvet is a reference to the fruit’s skin, which is thin but tough and papery. Mabolo should be peeled before being eaten.
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Mangga is the Tagalog word for ‘mango.’
The most common variety of mango in the Philippines is what Americans refer to as champagne mango. It’s been called Manila mango, Ataulfo mango (named after its Mexican grower) and Honey mango. Filipinos call it manggang kalabaw (carabao mango) while the Philippine government refers to it as ‘Manila Super Mango’ and is reportedly in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world.
Other popular mango varieties in the Philippines are Pico (Piko), Katchamita (Indian) and Pahutan (Mangifera altissima).
The Manila mango is more slender than the large mango varieties such as the Tommy Atkins or Kent with which Americans are familiar. The Filipino mangga has yellow-orange skin which wrinkles once it is very ripe. The flesh has an almost buttery texture and is very, very sweet.
In other countries, a mango is peeled with a knife akin to the way you’d peel an apple. This is possible because the mango variety they are peeling has very firm, not so juicy flesh. Peeling a ripe Filipino mango this way is almost impossible because the flesh is too soft.
Filipinos slice up a ripe Manila mango lengthwise, producing three flat slices, the middle slice containing the large seed. With the outer slices, you either scoop out the flesh with a spoon or make cubes using the “hedgehog” method — make a crisscross grid with a knife, turn the flesh out with your hands and then scrape off the chunks.
A cooking variety of banana having the scientific name Musa saba.
cardava, cardaba, kardaba
The sabá is much fatter and starchier than the typical table banana. It is sometimes referred to as a cooking plantain. Sabá is rarely eaten raw.
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from the Spanish naranjita, meaning “small orange”
Dalanghita is the name of a small, plump citrus fruit whose rind is primarily green. Its scientific name is Citrus nobilis.
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