This roundish, seasonal fruit contains a sweet translucent pulp that is surprisingly tasty and makes one to eat more than a handful. The lanzones tree is actually grown throughout the entire Southeast Asian ranging from Southern India to the Philippines. In the Philippines, the lanzones tree is grown mostly on the southern Luzon provinces of Paete, Laguna, where the conditions are favorable to the tree’s survival and flowering.
In Northern Mindanao, the provinces of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin are also known for other lanzones varieites. The Camiguin variety is particularly well-known for larger fruits with a sweet and succulent pulp.
Peeling the fruit takes some practice and the trick is to press the ends to expose the pulpy cores. Avoid biting on the small seed which leaves a bitter after taste. The rainy season of July and August are usually the best time for lanzones when high humidity ripens the fruit on trees.
The fruit also spawned several popular tales in Philippine mythology with stories of poisoned fruits, hence the name ‘lanzones’ which sounds like ‘lason’ or poison in Filipino. More like tall wives’ tales, the fruit is a perennial favorite for locals and visitors alike.
Mabuhay ang lanzones!