Discovering the Fruits and Foods of Davao

Food Chronicles

Discovering the Fruits and Foods of Davao

Davao’s agriculturally-rich land showers the region with an abundance of fruits, many of which are highly sought after and not exported out of Davao City. Discovering the tastes of Davao is a requisite food journey for tropical fruit lovers.

Aside from the fruits, Davao produces some of the country’s best chocolates that have achieved international acclaim. Also, regional cuisine highlights the freshest ingredients from the land and sea.

 

Fruits of Davao

Durian

The “King of the Fruits”. Durian is popularly grown in Malaysia and in Davao, where the city cultivates 23 varieties varying in yellow-orange colors, in sweetness, and in degrees of pungency. The smell can easily be overcome when you taste the creamy, custardy, fluffy, sweet bites of the fruit.

In Davao City, street vendors sell the fruit as low as 25 pesos per kilo. In the supermarket, you can find it for 70 pesos per kilo. Up in the capital of Manila, the price jumps up to 300 pesos per kilo.

Pomelos

Another prized fruit of Davao and most popular pasalubong (travel gifts to share with family and friends). Pomelos are likened to extra sweet, plump grapefruits.

Tropical Fruit Paradise

Beyond durian and pomelos, Davao also boasts of the best and sweetest mangosteens (the “Queen of Fruits” packed with antioxidants like acai berries), bananas (as this is the Banana Capital of the Philippines), lanzones (similar to lychees and rambutan), marang (in the jackfruit and durian family with a texture similar to custard apple and cherimoya), papayas and pineapples (both of which are exceptionally sweet, as though you opened a can of juice).

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Abreeza Mall’s Fruit Market. An outdoor fruit market with tables and benches to taste your purchased fruits. The outdoor setting is ideal for durian tasting, in which the vendors will expertly cut open the fruits
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Taste testing 3 varieties of durian: Arancillo, Puyat, and Kob. My favorite of the 3 is the Puyat variety which had a deeper orange color and a brighter sweetness compared to the other two varieties. Vendors even provide disposable gloves for your durian eating experience

Abreeza Mall
Abreeza Ayala Business Park
J.P. Laurel Avenue
Davao City

 

Chocolate of Davao

Aside from the fresh fruits of Davao, the city is also known for its chocolate from the region’s cacao plantations. Internationally acclaimed Malagos produces export-quality single-origin chocolates.

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Welcome to Malagos Garden Resort. Here you can spend the day tasting the Malagos products, most notably their chocolates and cheeses. The property also presents a theme-park like setting to learn about wildlife, butterflies, birds, flora, and fauna. Visitors can also opt for an overnight stay in the resort’s cottages
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Malagos chocolate products. The award-winning 65% Dark Chocolate, 72% Dark Chocolate, and 85% Dark Chocolate. You can also purchase the drinking chocolate which can be melted with water or milk for chocolate milk fans
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Inside on the resort’s dining and event facilities. The glass windows allow you to enjoy the landscaped greenery, while the warm interiors provide a homey atmosphere to comfortably enjoy the tastes of the Malagos products
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Chocolate and cheese tasting. 65% Malagos chocolate alongside Malagos cheeses – blue cheese, goat cheese, kesong puti (local carabao’s milk cheese), and a soft cheese with pineapple. The range of flavors from each cheese is distinct and consistently clean, quality
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The tasting paired with Malagos Wine. The wine is made from a local fruit called bignay. The result is a wine much like a light dessert wine, which makes for a perfect pairing with the range of cheeses
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Bignay fruit. The fruit, which resembles gooseberries, comes from evergreen trees in the tropical mountains of the Philippines. The fruit itself is rich in anti-oxidants; and like red wine from grapes, it is also said bignay wine is good for your heart

Malagos Garden Resort
Calinan-Baguio-Cadalian Road
Malagos, Davao City

 

Regional Cuisine of Davao

The regional cuisine of Davao reflects the simplicity and pride of culture of Davao’s peoples (known as Dabawenyos). The foods highlight the freshness and quality of local ingredients with the incorporation of fruits in their savory dishes and seafood from the nearby waters.

If you find yourself near SM Lanang, Bistro Selera for is an excellent option for regional Filipino dishes that are both traditional and modernized. A standout dish highlighting Davao is the Seafood Durian Curry which can be an introduction taste for those unfamiliar or hesitant about the fruit.

For more regional cuisine, Kenneth Irving K. Ong (Instagram @kennethkingong), the lifestyle columnist of the Edge Davao recommends Open Table where you can try Imbao (local clam) and Chorizo shots, salpicao (Filipino beef stir-fry), gambas, and shrimp ceviche. For homestyle regional Filipino, Ong suggests Belito’s for their Paella Negra served in a cast iron pot, Kilawin Cagayan de Oro style (another local style of ceviche) and their green honey ice cream to end the meal.

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Suha Salad at Bistro Selera. Davao’s favorite fruit tossed in papaya, turnip, locally grown herbs and fish sauce dressing. A perfect starter to welcome your palate to Davao. The dish can be a salad or a side dish to balance and contrast the fattier main course dishes
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Chilli Clams at Bistro Selera. Pacific mangrove clams sautéed in chili, tomato, and garlic butter sauce. A simple preparation and presentation to allow for the freshness of the clams to stand out. Also, note that the shell is surprisingly delicate and thin
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Seafood Durian Curry at Bistro Selera. Curried seafood and vegetables with Durian for that added flare. With the first sip of the curry, you are officially in Davao. While the curry is not pungent, the flavor brilliantly shines with the smooth creaminess of the fruit
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Selera’s Crispy Pata. Deep fried pork knuckles served with soy vinegar. While this is not a regional Davao dish, this classic Filipino dish is beautifully cooked here at Bistro Selera. The selection of the pork is clean, the meat is succulent and tender, and the skin is the perfect crispy cracker

Bistro Selera
2/F SM Lanang Premier
J.P. Laure Avenue
Davao City

Open Table
Unit 6, Damosa Business Center
Davao City

Belito’s Vineyard
Ferrazzini Compound
Palm Drive, Davao City

 

Spend the night or 2 in Davao City! Here are a few of the best hotels in town:

Seda Abreeza Davao

Ideally located across Ayala’s Abreeza Mall
Abreeza Ayala Business Park
J.P. Laurel Avenue
Davao City
Book your stay via Agoda
Book your stay via Booking.com
Book your stay via Hotels.com
Book your stay via TripAdvisor

Park Inn by Radisson Davao

Connected to the SMX Convention Center and SM Lanang Mall via covered bridge
J.P. Laurel Avenue, next to SM Lanang Premier Mall
Davao City
Book your stay via Agoda
Book your stay via Booking.com
Book your stay via Hotels.com
Book your stay via TripAdvisor

Marco Polo Davao

Located in the business and shopping district
Claro M. Recto Street
Davao City
Book your stay via Agoda
Book your stay via Booking.com
Book your stay via Hotels.com
Book your stay via TripAdvisor

This trip was graciously and generously sponsored by Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines as part of the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Familiarization Trip. All opinions, as always, are my own.


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