Duhat is cultivated throughout the Philippines. Also known as Java plum, the fruit may have been introduced in the Philippine from the Malayan peninsula. The fruit also grows in Indo-Malayan regions and was introduced into other tropical countries.
The fruit is oval to elliptic, around 1.5 to 3.5 centimetres long, dark-purple or nearly black, luscious, fleshy and edible. It contains a single large seed and the juice of the fruit stains the tongue and mouth a garish purple pink. The fruit is seasonal and often comes with the first monsoon rains in August and September. A popular fruit in the Philippines, the ripe ones are eaten outright or with a pinch of salt. Duhat juice is considered as tasty as grape juice. The juice is delicious and is often used as basis or substitute for grapes in local red wine. Analyses of the fruit show that it is a good source of calcium and iron.
Interest in duhat has been revived in recent years on account of their suggested value in the treatment of diabetes. Studies, however, remain inconclusive. No matter, for the true-blue Pinoy a bowl of duhat is a source of pleasure, reminding one of the cool monsoon rains, breezy winds and the end of a hot, long summer.
Mabuhay ang duhat!