What a treat to be vacationing in the Philippines during May! The markets are teeming with summer fruit, among them a hardy-looking, horned, heavy, green-skinned creation called guayabano.
File created by Ton Rulkens
This fruit is said to be native to Central and South America, as well as the Carribean, but I have yet to find a local name which might help me trace the source of the Spanish guanabana, on which the Philippine name is based. Seeds or seedlings most probably crossed the Pacific on the Acapulco-Manila galleon trade.
Indonesians and Malays have two names for it: Buah sirsak and nangka belanda. Buah is generic Indo-Malay for fruit; sirsak is probably from the Dutch zuurzack, which translates into soursop… for, indeed, the white flesh of the guyabano is sour; however, the pineapple and strawberry undertones make it pleasant to eat or drink.
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