Davao is always a treat. The province never ceases to amaze. From a sleepy
province, it is evolving to a progressive city. If you chance to fly there in
August to November, you’re in for an olfactory and gastronomic delight with
say, “Once you have tasted durian, you will never leave Davao.” That seems
to be true for people who find joy eating the pale yellow flesh that has an
appealing creamy custard-like texture and a very sweet taste that comes form the
hard, prickly rind. While others go to the extent of saying they would rather
die than smell the fruit’s stink. Infamous as it is, durian is banned in
hotels and public transportation. One can’t even hand-carry fresh durian in
eat durian is an acquired taste. And Davaoeños were able to fully maximize
their enjoyment of durian. From the simple candy to coffee, here are the
variations of the durian…
visit to Lola Abon’s Durian Candy factory is a treat. In an old house in
San Miguel Village, the durian candy was born. Lola Abondia Raakin in the
50’s made the pastilles de leche
for her family. “In her kitchen, she mixed with her ladle, a carajay with
six cans of milk,” shares Dolly Lumbab, granddaughter of Lola Abon who is
now managing the family business.
Soon after, a friend of Lola Abon suggested to include durian in the pastilles
since the fruit is indigenous in Davao. Thus, the durian candies were born.
Lola Abon’s candies evolved to other delicacies such as macaroons, empanada,
barquirons, etc. Preserves, jams and jellies are some of the bottled
variation of durian.
Others followed suit and true enough the candies that trace its history in
the kitchen of a grand mom, are now a veritable industry in Davao.
In the kitchen of the Guin-o
family came the durian pie. Ms. Virginia G. Sanz, proprietor, traces the
history of the pie…”Durian smells and tastes like heaven. We decided in
1970 to present durian with less of the smell yet with its real freshness in
a baked pie. It is no different from the buko pie of Laguna. The tourists
basically enjoy the product.”
Indeed the pie with its yummy crust with the creamy durian filling is
another treat. The durian cake followed suit. Check out the pies at their
shop on Iñigo Street. Eat it while it’s hot.
Since the fruit
is indigenous in the area, it can be in anything and everything that you can
imagine. While in Davao, trek to the supermarket and check out the frozen
section. And viola! Durian ice cream!
Even the big name brands came up with the flavor called Durian
Delight. Over at the Durian Park, freezers also have durian ice cream.
Coffee is the only specialty coffee shop in Davao. An offshoot of an apparel
line, Blugre is owned and operated by Renato ‘Gatchi’ and Larry
Gatchalian, Jr. Originally from Manila, the husband and wife team
transferred to Davao in the mid 90’s and opened Blugre, a unisex apparel
shop business started in 1998. It was actually a spin-off our Blugre apparel
store. We came with the coffee shop as part of the services for our clothing
customers. It turned out great because of the timing and it was an instant
success. Kaya iyung coffee na ang
naging main business namin. And we are happy to say that it is going
strong,” Gatchi says.
cappuccino hot beverage is called ‘gatchpuccino.’ “Frankly, that is my
only contribution in the coffee shop. Kudos go to my wife for coming up with
a good line-up of food and drink—everything is her recipe. My wife has her
version of coffee and that is the cold drink—larcepuccino,” adds Gatchi.
While in Davao, try the gatch puccino in any of its branches in G-mall, SM
Landco and Matina Town Square.
are now more ways to savor the fruit that smells like overripe cheese or rotting
fish. But if you prefer to eat it fresh, wash your hands with the durian seed to
get rid of the smell.