Sweet Summer Fruit

Fresh and Sweet

Summer fruit – especially the sort of fruit we have here in the tropics – is always a treat, particularly when picked at the peak of ripeness.

I have yet to meet people who haven’t fallen under the spell of fresh, ripe, golden mangoes. Some people will opt to have these sliced off the seed and will scoop the succulent, honeyed flesh out of the skin with genteel spoons.  Others, like me, prefer to take this indulgence in a more primal fashion. Just pinch off the narrow end, and peel the fruit in a similar fashion to a banana.  Sink your teeth into the soft, yielding pulp within; don’t mind if the juice starts running down your chin and arms in rivulets.  Eating mangoes this way is a most sensual experience I recommend to anyone yearning to unleash their more passionate side.  😉

Colleagues Ellaine (in blue) and Val (in orange) picking out pineapples from a roadside stand

Pineapples are another highly-popular summer fruit and we were just lucky that we passed through Tagaytay on our way to Calatagan.  Tagaytay is popular not just for its balmy weather, its retreat houses, and the scenic view of Taal Lake and Volcano; it’s equally famous for its sweet, tangy pineapples which are fresh in season between April and June.

The best way to enjoy pineapple is to choose one with a burnished, somewhat copper-colored skin as opposed to green as these fruits are ripe and ready for eating.  Carefully peel off the skin and remove the fibrous “eyes” speckling the bright yellow flesh.  A properly ripe pineapple will be nice and fragrant, the flesh perfectly juicy and sweet without need to add salt as most are wont to do whenever they encounter underripe fruit.  The ones we got were, I am pleased to say, just perfect.

And, if you want to enjoy your fruit in liquid rather than solid form, just bung chunks of peeled pineapple or mango in a blender with some ice and a cup of water (sugar is optional here), blitz till smooth, and you’re good to go.  (Oh, and if you add some coconut cream and rum – or just coconut rum – to your blitzed pineapple, you get a pina colada!)