August 26, 2017


lipote – (li-pó-te; Bicolano, Quezonian [Quezon province], and southern Luzon [including Tagalog] fruit) [n.] lipote tree and its fruit ( Sysygium polycephaloides or Syzygium curranii).

a.k.a. igot or bahag in Tagalog and Bicolano
baligang in Bicolano [Albayano]
malig-ang in Bicolano [Camarines Norte]
amhi in Bicolano [Camarines sur]
igot in Waray [Samareño) 

A species of Java plum. Lipote is a fruit tree that is indigenous to the Philippines and can be found growing in Bicol region and few in some places in the southern part of Luzon that includes Metro Manila, Batangas, Laguna, Marinduque, and in Eastern Visayas that includes Samar.

The tree grows up to 9-meters or more and bears round, dark red to black fruits that looks like that of duhat, but is rounder and has no seeds. Hence, it is often called as a seedless duhat by those who do not know its local name.

The fruits are borne in compact clusters, each fruit is about 20mm in diameter and would become darker as it ripen. The ripest is black or very dark in color and has a rather dry but of pleasant acid flavor. It is eaten ripe and raw.

When grown outside the Bicolandia, the fruits have the tendency to be more acidic or sourish in taste. 

Locals would collect the ripe fruits, mash and put them in a sealed container with some salt and sugar added inside. The container is juggled hard enough to squeeze the juice from the fruits. The extracted blood-red juice is collected and taken as a refreshing juice drink. The pure extract can be stored in a jar and will keep for weeks. It can be serve cold by adding lots of ice. Some says that it tastes the hint of duhat but more like that of a mangoosteen, with a peculiar tart-sweet and tannin taste.

The pure juice extract can be fermented to make wine, or mixed as flavoring with lambanog (coconut vodka) and other beverages.

Be careful not to stain the dress or cloth with the dark red juice as it is very tough to remove. It could even stain the fingers and tongue. 

The fruits can also be preserved in the form of candies, compote, jelly or jam.

It can also be used in making pickles and fruit pies.

The fruit is believed to have a high antioxidant content and is also good for treating hypertension, diabetes or high sugar level in the blood.

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