DUHAT will Make Your Teeth Purple

What a treat to be vacationing in the Philippines during May!  The markets are teeming with summer fruit, among them the almost black, turn-your-mouth-purple, super-tart duhat… Just writing this sentence makes my mouth pucker!

Since there is abundance in


This oxidant-rich drupe fruit is native to our islands and to Indonesia where local names include juwet and doowet — probable sources of our term duhat;  remember, Indonesians settled our shores early in history. 
The English name Java plum also reflects this origin.  In the northern areas of the Malaysia, it is called reyang dut / krian dot.  

 
Drupes are indehiscent fruit; their outer fleshy parts surround a hardened shell with a seed inside.  Indehiscent fruits do not open at maturity; their seeds are released after the fleshy parts are eaten by animals, or following decay with time.
 
Duhat is enjoyed in many parts of the world.  Portuguese colonization has brought it to Brazil (where it is called jamelao, joaobolao, azeitona-preta, among others) and the Maldives (dhambu). The spread of duhat through Spanish colonization shows a wider variation in naming.  It is called jambolana in Costa Rica, ciruela Java in Mexico.
 
Jambolan has Hindi and Nepalese roots; ciruela reflects its drupe similarity to the siguela. * 

Duhat
growing in the Philippines seems to be a random activity.  Market availability is unpredictable and price spread is wide.  A woman in Lukban, Quezon sold some to me for 15 Philipine pesos per 8 oz. glass measure.  A day later, in Quiapo market, a vendor didn’t allow any discounts from 140 Philippine pesos per half kilo (three 8oz. glass measures).  
I bought it, anyway.

I would that say duhat is worth whatever the market will bear.  It’s astringent, yes, but tastes good … and it’s beneficial, too!  I will not get into detail about diabetes control and other medical issues.  I’m just delighted to enjoy this seasonal tropical treat and gain the benefits of the anti-oxidant properties from one really dark-colored fruit.  In that, duhat fits the bill.

* See my related posting, Ciruela, Siguela, SINIGUELAS

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4 responses

      • Quiapo is a good source… the road where the sign says QUINTA MARKET.
        Have seen it also at Marikina market, then at a plaza in Lukban, Quezon.
        I am surprised that few people cultivate the tree,
        when prospects for duhat sales seem bright.

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