Kamansi

Here’s what I learned from marketmanila.com about this photogenic vegetable-fruit: “Kamansi or Seeded Breadfruit (artocarpus camansi) is closely related to but not the same as Rimas or Breadfruit (artocarpus altilis). Kamansi has sharper points on its skin, more like a jackfruit (another close relative), while Rimas has a flatter outer skin. Kamansi has soft seeds, and Rimas has no seeds.”

I have no doubt this fruit is abundant all over the Philippines--except in Manila. Many local fruits and vegetables simply don’t make it to market in this big city. Why? Because Manilans fancy themselves sophisticated and cosmopolitan. We prefer eating stuff that’s been shipped over from a foreign land. This is unfortunate and expensive; but after centuries of looking up to our colonial bosses and being told that where they’re from everything’s better, it’s tough to shake the old thinking that local just isn’t good enough.

I bought one, took it home, and asked Ida (my helper) to cook it in coconut milk, lots of ginger, spring onions, kalabasa (winter squash), calumay (a green leafy vegetable that I love that no one’s heard of), and . . . I forgot to tell her to add fresh red chili. But it was pretty good. She wound up having to soak it for half a day and boil it quite a lot (I think it was picked too early), but it tasted and acted like unripe langka (jackfruit).

All in all, it seemed to me like good vegetarian fare, and I’d for sure buy it again. Now, what about this Rimas? I have no idea what that is.

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