Fruit of the Philippines – Aratilis
Almost part of any Filipino childhood is eating the organic fruit snack, aratilis. Also known as the mansanitas (tiny apples) in my province, its scientific name is Muntingia calabura. It is small tree that grows about 7 to 12 meters. This makes it easy for children to reach up and grab its fruit or climb it. However, climbing is not advised because its branches are thin and can not bear weight well.
The aratilis is popular among Filipinos because it’s a ready-to-eat fruit snack. With juicy sweet pulp and miniature seeds that you can eat with each bite, it can be an addictive treat. Our common rivals for it are the fruit bats that often stay up in the tree at night.
Summer is often when the aratilis tree flowers and blooms. Much like the apple tree (or mansanas in Filipino), it starts off with green unripe fruit that’s hard and bitter and later on, it ripens to give you soft, ripe, red and juicy fruit.
Due to to the fructose content in its fruit, the aratilis is not only a source of happy summer moments but also of good energy and fun for children of all ages.
What fruit brings you back to happy childhood memories?