Myths of the Wax Apples (Makopa)


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One of my fondest memories of Thailand is eating makopa for the first time. There was a welcome basket of fruit in our hotel room, as well as a bowl of fruit (as well as coffee and sugar sachets) on a table near the floor elevators. I have loved apples ever since I was a kid, and it looked like an unusually shaped apple so I had to give it a try. By the end of our visit, I had raided our floor's fruit bowl daily, as well as a few other floors'. I had found my new favorite fruit.

Forward to us, now living in the Philippines full-time, where the trees themselves decorate 1 out of every 3 homes in our subdivision. Finally, to be able to eat my fill of makopa! But not only is it not available in stores, imagine my surprise upon learning that they aren't even eaten off the trees! It drives me absolutely crazy especially now, since they all bear fruit at the same time and are therefore wasted all at the same time. What's the point of planting it if you aren't going to eat it?

Logic says there has to be a reason. There is a lot of Chinese and Spanish influence here in the Philippines, and many plants are added to gardens because they're 'lucky' so it may be connected to that. Does anyone know of any stories or myths connected to the wax apple?
 
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Woah, no doubt about what they say: the more you live the more you learn! I had no idea what a makopa was, I just googled it and found this pictue:



Most odd fruit ever! It reminds me to habanero chilli. Care to tell us what this fruit tastes like?? Is it like apples or way better? By the way, can't believe people have those trees there and don't even bother to pick their harvests! How odd! If I had a fruit tree I'd surely pick the fruits, it's the most logic thing to do in my opinion. Dying to get enough space for a lemon tree...
 
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I never even thought about them looking like peppers, haha. I guess they kind of do, don't they? But they aren't spicy at all- the skin is thin and edible so you get a nice crunch while eating, and the taste itself is watery but sweet. Kind of like a pear, actually. They bruise easily, so when they fall from the tree, there's no salvaging them.

That's what drives me mad about this country. We can grow fruit with little to no effort, and what we can grow is so nutritious and delicious that it could effectively end hunger here in the main city. But it's just wasted. Yesterday, we came from a resort that was covered in mango, avocado and santol trees - all loaded with fruit, and as a pregnant woman with craving, can I just say ARGH - and I found out there were rules against picking them.
 
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Which part are you leaving in? In our place, we eat and sell them. I do not know why people do not eat them. They taste nice. I have never heard that they are lucky. We have two trees in our front yard.

They go great with salt, because they will taste a bit bland by themselves.
 
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We live in Las Pinas. I am so serious, I have never even seen anyone attempt to eat them. I think they grow them for ornamental purposes, if not for luck. Are they easy to grow from seeds? I'd love to have a little one all to myself.

Ooo, with salt, really? Haven't heard that before. But then again, I don't eat salt with fruit, and I shouldn't be surprised. My family just loves salt on watermelons, pineapples, unripe Indian mangoes, jicama-- you name it.

You know, as I recall, the makopa from Thailand were bigger and vibrantly redder than the ones I see around here (they're about a quarter of a fist and more pinkish than red). Obviously there are different species, because the ones I remember were distinctly sweet.
 
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Hmmm. That is really far from where I live. I live in Negros Oriental. We don't have a lot of Macopa trees here. I think the one you are referring to is the small pink macopa and not the red big ones with purple stamens. I have two of those in our front yard. They're not that common, I think. The common one is the small pink kinds. We call those "Tambis" in our place and the big red ones are the ones we call makopa.

I have never tried salt on watermelons and I have no idea what a jicama is, but I do agree that salt goes great with pineapples and Indian mangoes. Try mangoes with soy sauce and shrimp paste or bagoong and salt! It's really awesome. Very Filipino!

I am not sure that they grow from seeds, but I do suggest that you visit stores that sell seedlings. You could also try asking your neighbors for a branch. You can plant it and it grows according to my father.
 
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Jicama - Singkamas :) And yes to mangoes in shrimp paste! My husband makes a garlicky sweet mix to die for- ironic since he's allergic to seafood.

Thanks for the info, I didn't know about 'tambis'. I did go for a thorough walk around our neighborhood, and I noticed that ALL the makopa are of the small pink variety. Have you ever compared them in terms of taste?
 
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Oh. Hahah. I didn't know that. Thanks for that information. In my house, we eat those with soy sauce, mayonaise and catsup or by itself.

Yes. I think that the big red ones are softer than the small pink ones. I personally prefer the small ones because I like how they taste. The big red ones feel like cotton to me.
 
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Cottony? Hmm, definitely not what I remember. Maybe that's not the type I'm looking for. What I was thinking is maybe the reason the tambis around here are so small is because their trees have just been allowed to grow willy-nilly. If I grew my own, kept it trimmed down, and made an effort with fertilizer, I wonder if it would make difference with the fruit?

Oh, and look what I found: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/tambis-makopa-side-by-side

Are those the red makopa you have?
 
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Yes, those are the ones. Although, ours are darker in color.

I am not really sure if that will make a difference, but there's no harm in trying. I recommend fertilizers that has very high levels of Phosphorus because it is said to be the component responsible for fruit and flower growth, if I remember my Botany lessons correctly.
 
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Hmm, I shall have to study how to tailor my compost for higher levels of phosphorus. I also need for my passion fruit vines apparently, so it's high on my to-do list right now. I should start another thread, haha.
 
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I've never eaten makopa. To be honest, it's the first time when I hear of this fruit, lol. I'm not joking, I didn't know that something like this exists. It looks really nice in the pictures, I'd love to try it, especially if tastes like a pear. I'm sure I'd like it:)
 
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Well, I do eat these fruits but I had no idea that they are called Makopa! :p They are so juicy and delicious, I love them. :love:
 
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Well, I do eat these fruits but I had no idea that they are called Makopa! :p They are so juicy and delicious, I love them. :love:
Do you eat them raw? Do you buy them or maybe you grow them by yourself? How big is this tree? Do you think it's possible to grow it indoors? I know, I have a lot of questions, but I find this topic really interesting:) Makopa is a completely new fruit to me.
 
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Yes, you eat it raw. You slice it in half, take out the seed and eat it as it is or put a little bit of salt on it.

Our family grows both variants, so we don't really buy them, since when it bears fruit, you can have baskets and baskets of fruits from a single tree. It can grow for three meters, I think. It's a tall tree. I doubt that you can grow indoors, though.
 
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Do you eat them raw? Do you buy them or maybe you grow them by yourself? How big is this tree? Do you think it's possible to grow it indoors? I know, I have a lot of questions, but I find this topic really interesting:) Makopa is a completely new fruit to me.
To be honest, I have no idea! I just buy them. But I do know it's a tree and you eat it raw @cheesy-potatoes seem to know a lot about it. :)
 
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Thank you for your responses!:) Unfortunately, I don't think makopas are available at stores in my area. I've never seen them here. I thought that maybe I could purchase some seeds and try to grow this tree indoors, but I can't do this if it's so big.
 
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Pat

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The fruit looks very good unfortunately it does not grown in the States. The plant grows in the tropics only. If I am ever in the tropics I will look for some Makopa fruit.
 

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