January 12, 2020
Good morning friends! This is Anastasia, writing for you in Cebu, Philippines again. It’s nice to wake up with the sun and warm weather outside, unlike in St. Petersburg, where frosty and snowy days quickly replaced by rain and slush during this season. The most depressing thing about winter in my city is the lack of sunlight.
I decided to take advantage of my stay in the Philippines and take some vitamins. It’s my luck that the Philippines is rich with a variety of fruits. What could be more appetizing than the juicy and ripe fruits for breakfast?
Today I want to share with you about the Lahug Market. It is located five minutes from the 3D Academy.
6 am is the busy time according to the Filipinos’ lifestyle. The traffic starts at that time and most of the people would be hurrying for work, leisurely. The important word here is the “leisure”. Most Filipinos don’t take reaching on time too seriously and hence they rarely arrive on time. When they say 9am for gathering, arriving at 9.15am is considered “on time”. Coming back to reality, 6am in a Cebu market, people would be crowding around local cafes to have some rice, pork, and stewed vegetables for breakfast.
On the way to the market, you will also find “spots” with vegetables and fruit vendors selling on their products on the street. Lahug market itself consists of two floors. On the ground floor there is a huge variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs.
The reason I like “shopping’ fruits here is because there is so much variety in comparison to the local supermarket. For example, you can find vegetables like bitter melon here. It is known as a bitter gourd or Momordica charantia – a tropical vine that belongs to the pumpkin family and is closely associated with zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber. The pulp of the vegetable is like a cucumber. Momordica harania contains a lot of vitamins. It contains twice as much iron beta-carotene as broccoli; it also contains twice as much calcium as spinach; and it also contains twice as much potassium as a banana. In addition, it stimulates digestion and appetite.
There are several types of sweet potatoes. Each of which has its own flavor. I strongly recommend you to try them.
Green beans are also considered one of the essential products in the household here. They are added into stews, fries and soups. It is an excellent source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, choline, and vitamin A.
This heart-shaped flower is a flowering banana tree. It has a solid sheet texture. The core will be softened after cooked and it is usually added into salads and soups. It can also be deep-fried. It tastes like bamboo shoots but softer. Puso ng saging is the local term of this flort, and it translates as the heart of a banana.
Chauote is one of the most popular vegetables in the Philippines (the locals call it sayote). Sayote belongs to the same family as melons, zucchini and cucumbers. Usually Filipinos cut it up and sauté it with meat or shrimp for a simple dish called ginisang sayote. The leaves of this vegetable can be added into tea as well.
As for me, I never tried Papaya before in my life as it is a tropical fruit not so popular in Russia, so it was the first fruit I bought. Ripe fruit has a yellow-orange tint and it is really cheap (50 pesos per kg). Papaya resembles a mixture of pumpkin and pear. It is very fragrant and satisfying.
For an ideal breakfast, I decided to buy mango – 130 pesos per kg. There are different types of mangoes here. I liked yellow mangoes which the sweetest one. Philippines regions take pride in their mango production and it’s always a competition on which mango is the sweetest of all. It is said that the best mangoes grow on the island of Cebu.
In my opinion, these are the excellent selection of fruits to start your day full of energy.
As for other fruits, the chico, also known as Sapodilla, is a delicious sweet-tasting fruit. It contains a lot of helpful minerals and nutrients such as iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Chico is a good choice for breakfast because it’s a high-calorie fruit; 100 g provides 83 calories (it is almost the same as that of calories in sweet potato, and banana) and It’s rich in fiber.
Tambis, Makopa or Java apple is a bright pink fruit, with crisp and juicy pulp. Tambis has an interesting shape that looks like Christmas lanterns. It’s definitely for people who love fruits with sourness.
Everyone here is familiar with guava and mangosteen, which are not so common in Russia. The guava may seem inconspicuous, but it tastes quite juicy and pleasant, rich in vitamin C and perfectly quenches thirst.
Mangosteen is a tropical fruit with a slightly sweet and sour flavor. Sometimes it is called the “Queen of Fruits” for its high antioxidant properties and crown-like shape once sliced.
Jackfruit or “langka” is the largest tree-borne fruit which can reach 40 kilos. It is delicious as well as nutritious. The taste of jackfruit is sweet and similar to pineapple, mango, and bananas. It can also be used as a meat substitute in vegan diet because of the texture and mild taste.
For me, the surprising fruit was the “soursop” or Guanaban. The pulp of the fruit is white, soft and creamy in texture. The taste is sweet-sour and resembles yogurt with pineapple and apple together. The only inconvenience is that it contains a large number of seeds.
The most popular citrus fruit in the Philippines is Calamansi. The taste of the Calamansi is similar to lemon and lime. Regular intake of the juice also purifies the organs and detoxifies the colon. It was news to me that calamansi is used for eliminating stains on clothes, disinfecting wounds, repelling insects here in the Philippines.
Aside from these fruits you should definitely try sweet pineapples, yellow watermelons, rambutans, durians, mellows and of course some coconuts.
In the next sector of Lahug market there are fish and seafood vendors along. If you are a Lover of shrimp, mussels, clams, you will be very satisfied here. On the second floor there are different products like rice, palm oil, species and local kitchen where fresh seafood can be cooked.
Lahug market is also a place for cultural exchange. It’s easy to communicate with the Filipinos and find out about traditional cuisine and popular products.
Thank you for reading this article! See you in the Philippines next time.
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