The Sweetest Lanzones (Langsat (Lansium Domesticum)
Lanzones trees are slender and has only a single trunk growing to about 10 to 20 meters tall (picture above). The fruit has an acidic taste and bitter seeds but the translucent flesh can be very sweet when ripe.
In eating lanzones, it's always best to select the fruit already detached from the stem since it means it's ripe therefore sweeter than the ones left connected to the stem. Don't also bite the seed since it's very bitter. Big ones also mean lager seed; go for the medium sized fruit.
Tutubi, in his childhood, got to to experience trekking up the slopes of Mt. Humarap, the hill fronting Paete, Laguna, and part of Sierra Madre mountain to harvest lanzones. He still cherishes the thrill of actually going up and eating fallen lanzones fruits held by his shirt.
Lanzones peelings, when dried, are burned by some people in Laguna to drive away mosquitoes. This may be a cheap alternative to de-fogging and fumigation against dengue-carrying, diurnal mosquitoes (Aedes aegypto and Aedes albopictus) and malaria-carrying, nocturnal anopheles. ((Tutubi used to do this in their small plot of kaingin in Paete)
freshly harvested lanzones by Tutubi in a basket
Picture of lanzones showing innards
Where can you find the sweetest lanzones there is? Tutubi doesn't have to be asked. He'll swear it's the variety found in his hometown. He's tasted samples from around Laguna, Sulu (currently sold in Metro Manila), and from Camiguin (but not the ones with less seeds in Bangkok, Thailand).
In fact, a few years ago, people asked specifically for Paete's lanzones and not from Laguna due to the inexplicable succulence of the variety. It's just that the fruit is not commercially cultivated in Paete, reason why you can't find them in commercial quantities. Lanzones also spoil rapidly making it inappropriate for export to other countries.
Even the legend of lanzones' magical change from a poisoned fruit to a sweet sensation is attributed to the artistic town of Laguna.
Ang Alamat ng Lanzones (The Legend of Lanzones) depicted at Paete's Wawa Park
Tutubi may, however, change his mind on which is the sweetest if anyone of the readers can give him a sample of the sweetest kind! :P
Lazones is also known in other countries as langsat, lansa, langseh, langsep, lanzon, lanzone, lansone, longkong and kokosan
posted by backpacking philippines @ 11:09 AM,
- At Oct 5, 2007, 8:40:00 PM, Gita Asuncion said...
thanks for the photo of the lanzones tree. sa totoo lang, i havent seen one!
thanks for all the info too...
- At Oct 5, 2007, 11:45:00 PM, Dennis said...
Yun pala, talagang may place kung saan nanggagaling ang matamis na lanzones..
Grabe mura ng lanzones ngayun ha, kanina bumili ako 40 pesos ang kilo!
I love Lanzones, but I hate the sour ones. I also hate the big ones with the big seeds. It's the most bitter thing when you bit the lanzones seed, which makes me think na baka pwede gamot sa diabetes.
- At Oct 6, 2007, 8:23:00 AM, Sidney said...
Interesting facts about the Lanzones.When exactly is this Festival?
- At Oct 6, 2007, 9:50:00 AM, said...
I love lanzones too! I've seen people posting up photo of it and I thought it looked similar to langsat and now you confirmed that it's the same!
- At Oct 6, 2007, 3:02:00 PM, Mari said...
I love lanzones, unfortunately we don't have them here. Well, they are sold at Filipinos stores, but they are frozen, and they are not as good as the fresh ones.
Thanks for the info.
- At Oct 6, 2007, 9:12:00 PM, Toe said...
The lanzones here in Cambodia are pretty sweet. I don't know how I could send you though. :)
Very interesting post Tutubi! Thanks for the tip about the fruit detached from the stem being sweeter and for the peelings supposed to drive away mosquitoes. :)
- At Oct 7, 2007, 2:49:00 AM, AnitoKid said...
My mom absolutely digs lanzones!
With regards to the peelings, maybe they could be used as an alternative source of energy someday. There have been lots of developments with regards to such alternative fuels lately.
- At Oct 7, 2007, 11:12:00 AM, Ferdz said...
Lanzones season ba ngayon? Fave ko rin ang lansones, ang ganda ng pag present mo about lanzones dito ah. Hehe have yet to differentiate which lanzones is from.
- At Oct 8, 2007, 1:04:00 AM, cheh said...
Na miss ko yan!! may puno lola ko sa likod bahay nila! nammm
- At Oct 8, 2007, 4:23:00 AM, Photo Cache said...
i have never seen a lanzones tree before too.
- At Oct 8, 2007, 7:04:00 AM, carlotta said...
me hacienda pala kayo ha. hehe joke =)
masarap nga lanzones galing sa paete. tagal ko na nga lang di nakakakain. in season parin ba yun ngayon?
galing din nung tip na magaling pantanggal ng lamok yung mga balat masubukan nga next time =)
- At Oct 8, 2007, 10:08:00 AM, tutubi said...
gita, if you happen to pass by the highway in laguna from pagsanjan going to siniloan, there are so many of them. you just don't know :)
dennis, price of lanzones in paete is almost the same here in manila. it's much in demand :(
sidney, lanzones festival is around october in camiguin but not sure of the exact date :(
kyels, one and the same. send me some samples so i can test it if it's sweeter than my hometown's :)
mari, lanzones spoils too quickly to be even exported. frozen lanzones doesn't sound too cool :P
toe, send me samples please. i'll send you my address :) pagbisita ko sa cambodia hehe
anitokid, lanzones sap (dagta) said to be used to make poison but i don't know how. maybe i'll check. about alternative energy simiar to jatropha? hmmm, worth a look at :)
ferdz, september to october lanzones season in laguna. santol, another sweet paete fruit, is around july
carlotta, in season still. the peelings to drive out mosquitoes. maybe a cheap source of de-fogging or fumigation against dengue :)
- At Oct 8, 2007, 10:11:00 AM, tutubi said...
cheh, di ba masaya kungmay sarili puno lanzones? :)
photo cache, next time i'll post a bigger picture of the tree. my photo is backlighted that's why it's hard to take a good picture. also used my point and shoot for that :(
- At Oct 8, 2007, 11:09:00 AM, Rochelle said...
I have had these before and they are sooooo good!! Great info too!! Thanks!
- At Oct 8, 2007, 4:17:00 PM, kegler747 said...
I love the lanzones from Camiguin. Nakatikim narin ako ng galing sa Romblon and they are super sweet pero mas maliit nga lang.
- At Oct 8, 2007, 4:48:00 PM, said...
nakakalasaw lansones mo, sarap sa sinigang at alamang
- At Oct 8, 2007, 5:26:00 PM, tutubi said...
rochelle, it's something i can't get enough of :)
kegler, haven't tasted the one from romblon but would love to try them too
anonymous, di ko alam nilalagay sa sinigang at alamang yan... ano naman yung texan? ang nilalagay namin sa alamang ay santol tapos may gata...isa sa paborito ko pag panahon ng santol :)
- At Oct 8, 2007, 8:25:00 PM, RennyBA said...
i was in Malaysia 10 years ago and eat lanzones - very tasty and of course for a Norwegian very exotic.
Thanks for your visit and comment on my Chinese art post. I do agree learning about other cultures is good - thats why I do like your blog - thanks for sharing!
- At Oct 9, 2007, 7:54:00 AM, zherwin said...
i am yet to taste the camiguin lanzones, i am only familiar with lanzones coming from laguna (as to where in laguna, i am not even sure hehehe), and i like the small ones, pwedeng kaining parang mani. :)
- At Oct 9, 2007, 2:10:00 PM, Wanderlust Scarlett said...
Wow...thank you for teaching about this fruit, it's one I haven't seen before!
I will put a link up to it, if you do not mind.
Thanks for visiting me, I will be back soon!
Scarlett & Viaggiatore
- At Oct 9, 2007, 3:43:00 PM, rhodora said...
Ay, Tutubi! Taga Laguna ka nga pala. Pede, padalhan mo ako ng isang tiklis ng pinakamatamis na lanzones dito sa Dagupan? Will send you back a bucketful of Bonuan bangus in return. hehehe.
- At Oct 9, 2007, 8:42:00 PM, dave said...
really, paete lanzones are sweeter than those in mindanao?
- At Oct 10, 2007, 9:28:00 PM, said...
i have tasted lanzones from the different areas of the country: from davao, cotabato, misamis oriental, camiguin, laguna. the best still comes from camiguin.
just like grapes used for red wine, not all harvests of lanzones are good. the good harvest of lanzones comes every other year or once very 2 years. the quality of lanzones is also easily affected by the change of weather. so if you have a crazy weather during the year, expect the harvest to be not so good in terms of volume and quality.
right now, one notices that lanzones can be had all year round. it used to be that this is harvested in october or november with the peak season in november. but ever since our weather got crazy, there has been late harvest that is why sometimes you can find lanzones in february. there are other factors that contributed to this change of seasonality of the lanzones.
- At Oct 11, 2007, 5:56:00 AM, exskindiver said...
you got me with the picture of lanzones--it is one of my absolute favorite fruits!!
labo mo chong.
- At Oct 25, 2007, 8:46:00 AM, paradise philippines said...
Pag maliit yung Lanzones, masarap at matamis, pag malaki di gaanong matamis..
- At Mar 31, 2010, 2:01:00 PM, said...
what are the vitamins or minerals we can get from lanzones?
- At Jan 27, 2011, 6:51:00 PM, said...
does this fruit, lanzones, is really effective as an insect repellent and do they repel insects when insect smell the smoke?
- At Jan 28, 2011, 1:57:00 PM, backpacking philippines said...
anonymous, i thnk so. Tutubi's turned off by the smell. don't know if it's scientific or just age old practice. perhaps someone should conduct more research