Oh my! It’s Aratilis!

My boyfriend recently came back from Korea and brought me fresh blueberries. This reminded me of the sweet fruit that I used to eat when I was young called aratilis. Obviously, not many city dwellers know about this fruit.

My chilhood memories are laced through having afternoon snacks with these sweet tiny aratilis. Back then, our neighbor used to have an aratilis tree and I would ask my nanny to pick some fruits for me and my sister to eat. I remember how much I would enjoy sucking on its sweet sap.

Source: Wikipedia

Aratilis (or aratiles) is a small tree measuring five meters to, at most, 10 meters high with spreading branches. The tree originated in Tropical America and it was introduced during the Spanish Era in the Philippines where it was widely distributed and became thoroughly adapted. Common names include (English) Jamaican cherry, Panama berry, Singapore cherry, Bajelly tree, Strawberry tree; (Spanish) bolaina, yamanaza, cacaniqua, capulín blanco, nigua, niguito, memizo or memiso; (Indonesia) kersen, talok; (Vietnamese) Trứng cá (thực vật); and (Filipino) Aratilis, and Sarisa.

I was so happy when our housekeeper brought me some aratilis fruit yesterday morning. Our housekeeper, who also takes care of my munchkins very well, has a yard full of different plants. Her family organically grows their own veggies and fruits. I was just so delighted when she brought me some of her freshly picked aratilis.

Did you know that this homegrown snack has a lot of health benefits? According to PhilAsian Herbs:

  • It has anti-bacterial properties that can be compared to standard antibiotics, according to one study
  • It also seems to have a stronger polar antibacterial compound
  • It has flavonone contents
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties
  • It has cytotoxic flavonoids for anti-cancer properties, including the leaves and stems
  • The leaf extract has heart protective properties
  • The fruit has antioxidants, like flavonoids

Now I wonder why Filipino food manufacturers have not used aratilis as part of their flavours like, let’s say, in icecream or pastries or candies. The tree is easy to grow and the fruit is available year-round.

Anyway, how about you? Have you ever chanced upon an aratilis fruit already?

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6 responses to “Oh my! It’s Aratilis!”

  1. Roselle Avatar

    I suddenly miss the taste of aratilis ans its sweet smell that I can’t even describe. We used to have a tree that we didn’t even plant, I think the birds dropped the seeds and it just grew there. I didn’t know that it has many benefits but I enjoy eating its fruit back then.

  2. Aegeane Colmenar Brioso Avatar

    Didnt know that alatiris has a lot of good benefits in our body! Wow! <3 Youre blog definitely is not just for beauty thingy, it is also informative on other things! It's an all-in-one blog that evryone should follow and read! Really love and enjoying your blog so much. <3 Till your next post! 🙂

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Wow, thanks for the kind words 🙂 I’m glad you are enjoying my blog 😉

  3. Tomaru Avatar

    Hi, we will do Aratilis Candy in our Feasibility Study. But our problem is, we can’t find any Aratilis Plantation here in the Philippines for as to have a supplier. I just want to ask if you guys have any idea about it. Thank you.

    1. CouchWasabi Avatar

      Hi tomaru, these things just grow in the backyard. I’m not sure if there’s a supplier available.

    2. thatcolorblindartist Avatar

      Hello! I’m also doing an Aratilis Feasibility Study. I was wondering if you happen to find any plantation here in Philippines?

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