In Mindanao, there’s a strange fruit that never fails to catch the attention of whoever sees it. Although not very popular yet, it looks like a young coconut in appearance and watermelon in size.
Its name is even strange: calabash. In the science world, it is called Crescentia cujete. It is known as calabacero in Spain; totumo in Colombia and Panama, mate in Ecuador; pate in Peru; jicaro in Mexico; higuera in Puerto Rico; and rum tree in Sri Lanka.
But most Filipinos call it miracle fruit. The reasons are: it cures some diseases, even cancer. In General Santos City, a group of students from the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University found that “calabash extracts have the ability to prevent blood vessel growth and development.” As such, it “could be used to help prevent the cancer cells in the human body.”
How to prepare a concoction of Miracle Fruit:
1. Saw the shell of the fruit on opening it because it is really hard.
2. Scrape the inside contents (white pulpy texture).
3. Squeeze all what you got from it. While squeezing, its juices are coming out.
4. When you think all of it had been squeezed out and the pulps became refined, cook it under low heat.
5. Stir it continuously and after a few minutes you will see that it is becoming color black.
6. When it boils, wait for another 15minutes. Stir continuously.
7. When the cooking time is finished, set it aside to cool down.
8. Use a clean white cloth in separating the solid sediments from the liquid. (Don’t throw the solid sediments)
9. Put the concocted juice in a container and another container for the solid sediments, keep it both cool in the fridge.
Calabash is not only known for its healing powers but also as an ally in food preparation. In Chinese cuisine, it is often fried and added to soups. In Japan, people buy it in the form of marinated strips, which they use in making rolled sushi. In Burma, the leaves are boiled and eaten with a hot and spicy fish sauce.
The taste of the concoction is bitter-sweet, you can play with the taste by mixing another juices or just plainly honey. For a better taste, gather the mature fruits because it is more tastier, its sweetness is more palpable. The younger the fruits are, the more bitter taste you can get!
The solid sediments can be used as lotion when you have some skin problems or irritations. Just be aware of its smell. It has a foul smell effect when been dried in your skin. So, just apply it at bedtime or when you are just at home.