This is the counter in our kitchen full of fruits and veggies that were just purchased at the market. Market runs for our house are twice a week, and between the 6 girls that live in my house, we take turns going every three weeks. My partner, Nancy, and I always scan all fruit stands up and down and try to find the best quality for the best price. Between her Tagalog and my Visayan, we do pretty good haggling with the venders to get what we want.
These are lanzones. I had never had them before moving here, but they are probably one of my very favorites. You pick one pod, squeeze it near the top and inside are clear little slices (kinda like an orange) that you eat. Usually one or two of the sweet little slices has a bitter seed in it.
This fruit is called rambutan. It has a semi-hard shell with soft bristles on the outside. To open these, I would take it in both hands and twist my hands in opposite ways, (kind of like giving someone an indian sunburn). The fruit in the middle is one round piece with a large center seed. Pop the whole thing in your mouth and eat the flesh of the fruit and spit out the seed!
These are bananas. Most everyone in the States is familiar with these, but I like to think I am privileged to see them grow all over the place. In the Philippines, they are called saging (with a long 'A'). I eat about 2-3/day. Did you know that bananas are known to render a soothing effect? They contain the compound tryptophan which when converted to serotonin, improves mood. Maybe that's why I seem to love it here so much!
These are Pomelos. They remind me very much of grapefruit. I was never a huge grapefruit fan at home, but I love pomelo. And it just so happens that we have a pomelo tree in our back yard!
Our basket-full of fruit--apples, oranges, pineapple, and mangoes. All of these can be bought in the produce section of your local grocery store, but it sure is nice to get fresh piña (pineapple) and mangga (mango) for super cheap from the fruit farmers themselves. :)
Here are some of our veggies. We always keep a nice stock of garlic, onion, and potatoes. The big green gourd is called calabaza. It is kinda like a pumpkin and a squash--it's orange on the inside. It is really yummy, especially in vegetable stir fry or when made into a soup!
There are so many other fruits that I didn't write about that are common here. Check out this site for a list and some pictures (http://www.philippines.hvu.nl/fruit3.htm). My ultimate favorite is mangosteen. Star fruit, jackfruit, tambis, and santol are also really good. The Philippines is known for it's durian, which the locals seem to love, but I can't wrap my taste buds around yet.
Just another glimpse into my daily life--what once seemed completely foreign but now seems so normal. Once again, praise God for His grace in allowing me here to experience the culture and love on some moms and babies!