Lanzones will be in full abundance by September, friends from Davao claim. And although a matter of only some weeks away, I can’t seem to wait that long. I miss lanzones.
Lanzones are sold loose or in bunches much like grapes, per kilo. The ones grown from the southern Visayan islands of the country, like Camiguin, are supposedly the sweetest and most sought-after. I am yet to taste that particular variety, because the lanzones I had enjoyed while growing up in Metro Manila usually came from only as far down south as the provinces of Batangas and Quezon.
Lanzones is native to Malaysia and Indonesia, but is now found in all Asian countries. The lanzones trees thrive in tropical regions and are known for their various names, such as langsat, lansa, langseh, langsep, lanzon, lanzone, lansone, duku or kokosan.
However, according to Dizon Exotic Fruit Trees, the Longkong Lanzones variety from Thailand is the world’s most expensive fruit today; ranging in price from P350 to P600 per kilo. Whereas, our local local lanzones costs merely P60 to P100 per kilo.
A bunch of seedless, sweet and latex-free Longkong fruit weighs 1/2 to 2 kilos. This variety can be grown here in the Philippines as had already proven by those who planted its trees several years ago.
The pale yellow skin of the lanzones is easy to peel. Inside is the almost translucent, segmented edible flesh. Its taste is somewhat similar to that of a grapefruit, but not bitter and juicy. There are some seeds which should not be swallowed.
The only downside to feasting on this wonderful fruit, as some claim, is that your fingers eventually become sticky due to the latex that ooze out when you peel its skin. There’s no need to worry or a need to even wash your hands, though. According to folkloric wisdom passed down to us as children, we simply rub our fingers against our hair, because the latex is supposedly good for the hair.
As for its health benefits, according to the "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine," you can burn the lanzones’ dried peels to drive away mosquitoes. The bark from the tree that grows the lanzones fruit is an astringent that can treat diarrhea. The powder from the bark can also help treat scorpion stings. The lanzones fruit itself is a febrifuge that can lower your body temperature.
Lanzones contain riboflavin and thiamine, vitamin B-2 and B-1 respectively. Riboflavin supports body growth and red blood cell production. Additionally, riboflavin helps your body to release energy from carbohydrates. Your body uses thiamine to break down sugars. Additionally, thiamine can help to treat several nerve and heart conditions.
Read more health benefits here.
In Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, there is an annual Lanzones Festival held usually during the month of October.
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