All About Tabon-tabon

What is Tabon-tabon?
Tabon-tabon is actually a not-so- very-famous fruit to the modern world.

Yes, Tabon-tabon is a fruit, it’s a tropical fruit.

Very little is still known about Tabon-tabon fruit. Information about the fruit is really quite not clear yet. Unlike the Medical People’s favorite apples, or unlike the miraculous coconut fruit, nor the drunkard’s favorite grapes, Tabon-tabon is like a silent gem of mother earth.

As mentioned, Tabon-tabon is a tropical fruit. It is also described as a wild fruit. That means it can grow without cultivation. It is said to be native to Northern Mindanao and Camiguin.

It is mistakenly pointed to be a Chico because of its physical alikeness. Yet, Tabon-tabon is very far from being a chico.

Its shell is colored brown and very hard. It is a one-seeded fruit and what a very big seed indeed. When you cut the Tabon-tabon in half it would reveal a brain-like pulp. This pulp hardens very fast so you need to use it while it’s still soft and can be scraped from the skin. The pulp hardens 10 days after pricked from the branch itself. In most cuisines, cooks or chef usually gets only the sap of the pulp and not the pulp itself.

The Tabon-tabon plant is actually a shrub. Its tree can only grow up to 10 meters and it has elliptic leaves, evergreen in color. Its scientific name is atuna racemosa, or others say it is hydrophytune orbiculatum.

By itself, the pulp and its sap is quite bitter, one had described its bitterness with that of an astringent with no flavor and the bitterness leaves an unwelcome stinging taste.  But when mixed with other ingredients the flavor easily blends. Take for example the sap of the pulp mixed with vinegar it turns white and creates a unique kind of sour-sweetness perfect for any fresh Fish. So, aside from stripping the fresh fish of its unlikely flavor, it gives it an uplift of sweetness.

It also has a lot of Medical Benefits.

One, it has antibacterial qualities that makes sure you won’t get indigestion or food poisoning from eating a very fresh fish. In fact, two (2) Xavier Grade school students had made a great discovery about tabon-tabon’s great antibacterial properties. Right now it is very well kept in the DOST’s archives.