Whatever it is, I look forward to enjoying this fruit come August-September, when it is in season. The provinces of Laguna, Butuan, and Cagayan de Oro and the island of Camiguin are famous for the sweetest lanzoneses. In fact, on the 3rd week of October, Camiguin holds its 4-day Lanzones Festival. Great reason to visit the island!
These ones here are from Cagayan de Oro. And they are all incredibly sweet. Not peachy-sweet, but sweet with a touch of tartness, like most Asian fruits. In my mind, I judge the sweetness of the fruit by its firm flesh that has a little give and some brown marks. For me, those marks indicate the qualities of ripeness and sweetness. It also helps when the black ants come in droves, crawling all over the bunches, and get into a sugar orgy.
Interestingly enough, sweet as it can be, it’s a good choice of snack for those with diabetes, as it can actually help improve the body’s glucose levels.
Legend has it that the word “lanzones” is derived from lason, meaning poison. There was a time, they say, when the fruits were poisonous. To make a long story short, Mother Mary put her thumbmark on the fruit to remove the poison and made it sweet, juicy, and safe to eat.
Well, any fruit with a divine blessing is definitely a fave for me. And now that it’s in season, I’m having my fill of lanzoneses…es.