The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

13 October 2012

Philippine Tree of the Month: Rimas

One of my most favorite trees is the Rímas (Artocarpus altilis), with enormous foliage and an over-all robust stance that makes it look like it will explode with fruits! I first learned to appreciate it on a visit to the Batanes Islands many years ago where they use rimas instead of banana leaves to serve their country cooking. Apart from the leaves being big, it has a distinct shape and is handsomely veined.

It belongs to the same family as Kamansî (A. camansi), Langkâ (A. heterophyllus), Márang (A. odoratissimus), and the Tipólo (A. blancoi). It took me time to find a seedling years ago; for some strange reason, no one propagates this and hardly will you find the fruit sold in markets. Now I happened to tell a friend, Tintin about it and she promptly had some sent from her home province in Nueva Vizcaya! She says the fruits just fall off the tree and the seeds germinate by istelf.

Some scientists contest though that the Kamansi is just the same as the Rimas, except that it has no seeds. Either way, both are edible and is in fact, deliciously prepared by cooking in gatâ (coconut cream) garnished with pork or shrimp bits.

It is indigenous to the archipelago but also naturally occurs elsewhere. In fact, it is more closely identified with the Pacific Islands, and is always mentioned as the fruit that Captain Bligh made the trip for on the HMS Bounty, wherein his crew staged the novel-inspiring mutiny.

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