Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Why Eat Makopa this Time of Year

Rose apple---that's what one site called makopa in English. I was surprised, too. Google calls it mountain apple. I and my friends called it tambis when we were kids and my first taste of it was when my neighbor's makopa tree was abundant with fruits one summer.

I examined it before biting into it, finding this red bell-shape fruit kindof eerie. Some fruits were pink, but I liked the deep red ones better. It smelled like some kind of an ornamental flower, so the more it didn't appeal to me. But seeing my friends eating them like crazy, I also began eating mine.

"Crunch!" Hmm, it was crunchier than most apples I have eaten (back then Fuji apples were not yet available). It was juicy and just sweet enough, a bit more sweeter than our local turnip. I was surprised that I liked the taste, though not the appearance.

We treated it like some cheap pop corn or hopia. We'd drop by our neighbor, pick some fruits from their makopa tree, and munch them casually. We didn't know how powerful it was in terms of health benefits. It's got Vitamin C, thiamin, magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur and potassium. It's a great source of dietary fiber, besides. Thus, it's low in calories and fat.

I think it has either anthocyanin or resveratrol because of its red color.

Now, here's what's so special about makopa this time of year. Place a bunch of makopa in the vegetable crisper or chiller and eat then when cold enough. I'd even suggest you slice the fruit in thin pieces and mix in your fruit or vegetable salad or your favorite fresh fruit juice. Actually, I'd prefer fresh fruit punch with a measure of red wine.

I can imagine how it will go with your grilled meat dishes if you slice makopa real thin or blend it dry and use as toppings on your meat. Better if you mix it with thinly sliced onions, cucumber and radish. Super healthy, too.

Imagine yourself stressed up from office work. You get home exhausted and needing refreshment so badly, suffocated by pollution and irritated by traffic. Then you open the fridge and get 5 makopa fruits from the vegetable chiller and start munching as you sit down in your favorite sofa and relax. You should try this with makopa because it has a different invigorating effect.

Makopa is not sold anywhere in the city or provinces. I have yet to see the fruit being sold. So this pauses some problems. However, if you have a neighbor with a fruiting makopa tree, you can always ask for some.

Here in our neighborhood, I see kids walking away with a sack-full of makopa after asking some from another neighbor who doesn't care about the ripe, red makopa fruits just falling on the street. I watch them walk back home with excited faces, and I remember my childhood.

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