About Me

United States
Belle is a mother of 2 beautiful teenagers aged 19 and 18 years old. She is originally from Bato, Catanduanes. She loves fiddling around with computer on her free time.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Pili Tree, Pili Nuts, Pili Sweets


Familiar with this tree? It grows wild in the province. Can you guess what it is? Give up? It is a pili tree. My Japanese friend was so curious to see a pili tree while we were in the province so the moment we saw one, we stopped and we let her get off the car and relish the sight of it. She took all kinds of pictures. She asked if she could take pili nuts back to the US and I said, "I don't see why not!" You see, my friend has eaten pili sweets before because I brought her a jar of caramelized pili from the Philippines and she liked it a lot. She had this idea that she could grew this in Hawaii where her sister lives. It is probably true as Hawaii has a similar climate as the Philippines'. Unfortunately though, we didn't see pili nuts during our trip because our province just recently got hit by a super typhoon last November. Too bad!

When I was young, we would go to the mountains and we would climb a pili tree regardless of who owned it..hehe. Their pili trees were our pili trees, too, you know. I would de-shell it carefully so I wouldn't break the meat. I must say, I was good at it. And I would pop it in my mouth and savor its delicious taste. It didn't take much to fill me up because just like any other nuts, pili nuts are quite rich.


I lifted these next two photos from this site: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/fresh-pili-fruit-and-pili-nuts, because pili nuts were not available when I visited the market or I didn't look hard enough. That is how they look when pilis are de-skinned. There are two ways of de-shelling the nuts. One is by cracking them open with a piece of stone and other way is by using a machete and applying just enough force to break through the shells but careful enough not to hit the meat. Then you slowly split them open.

These are the pili pods or the pili nuts. The skin of pili is one of my favorite appetizers in the province. We would submerge a dozen or so of pilis with skin in hot water for a minute or two and remove them right away and let the skin soften. The reason why you shouldn't leave them long in hot water because the skin tends to get saggy, hence, it will not taste good. The skin sort of remind me of olives and it is best when dipped in fish sauce or "patis." Delicious!

Caramelized pili is super super tasty! When I travel back to the province, I usually buy at least a dozen to give out to people but on this recent trip, I only bought a couple for my daughter. Amazingly, this is the only nut that my daughter can eat. So, I pamper her with pili delicacies when I make a trip to the province. Mind you, a jar of caramelized pili is not cheap. It costs php90.00 per jar, about $2.00, but it is all worth it.


These are Mazapan Pilis made out of pili nuts, condensed milk, cheese, and eggs. For me though, I prefer the caramelized pili as it tastes so much better and it doesn't have those rich artificial ingredients, which to me, alter the delicious taste of pili. The more natural it tastes the better, I think.

18 comments:

NursyE said...

Oh my goodness, one of my very favorites that tells the world that I am indeed a Bicolana. Do I miss this!!! I remember living in Bicol and eating boiled pili and then cracking up the nut.

My Mom always brings me different pili goodies when she goes home. Thanks for sharing!

Belle TH said...

hehehe..E, i have a few left here. Come over and I would gladly share it with you.

vernaloo said...

sheesh I just realized that Pili nuts came from a Pili tree...I mean I never thought its from a tree. I thought, like peanuts, you gotta dig it from underground hehehe

thanks for sharing this Belle. I like caramelized Pili too but unlike caramelized peanuts, I cannot finished one pack...medyo nakakaumay kasi ang Pili for me :)

Senor Enrique said...

My mom's from Bicol so you can imagine how pili has become a major part of our growing up years!

I think to be able to upload you comment box, I must log on to your site around noontime here in Manila; otherwise, with my dial-up connection .... hehehe.

Lovely pictures, Belle! You're fast becoming a great photographer!

Belle TH said...

@verns, hehehe...now you know that pili nuts came from a tree, a pili tree. i, however, can finish the whole jar of caramelized pili in one seating, kaya nananaba na ako.

@senor Enrique, know what? i bookmarked your site but for some reasons which my ole mind couldn't fathom, i lost all my favorites by inadvertently clicking something. and i couldn't figure out how to get it back.

ahh, so, you have eaten lots and lots of pili. do u remember eating santan for dessert?

chateau said...

My dad while working on assignment at the Bicol region always brought home pili nuts in all its various forms- in the shell, fresh from the shell, caramelized, in candy bars... We loved it! It's been a while since i had a taste of em.

k said...

AY INDA, I think I left a comment and it's gone again.

Sa sobrang excited sa naheling na PILI (wow meron na tayo nyan sa Virac? I mean, usually yung home-made type lang na nasa garapon) nawala bigla pop-up comment.

Syempre, the best ang PILI, from the laman outside (which is the best "food" to eat with fried rice & langkoy) to laman inside. Magkano na ang KILO nyan?

dangkin said...

this is one of our favorite pasalubong whenever one of our housemates goes home to bicol! i like the caramelized pili nut better, too :)

vernaloo said...

nananaba? you? c'mon! kung nanaba ano na lang ako? hehehe

have a great day belle!

gwapasila said...

yumyum goodies...thanks for the visit and comment for my post...balik balik ok.

Heart of Rachel said...

I love pili nuts especially the ones coated in honey. My hubby's cousin who used to work in Bicol always brought home some pili goodies for us.

kathy said...

I love pili nuts! Whenever somebody comes back from Bicol, we'd always look forward to the pasalubong, pili nuts of course. Usually we get them in caramelized form. Nasira ata ipin namin nong bata kami dahil don hehe. Ansarap kasi. :)

annamanila said...

Fave ko din ang pili ... i like it anywhich way, hilaw, rplain roasted, caramelized, candied ... but best for me is mazapan. ooooh heavenly. I wonder why I haven't seen chocolate coated pili .. di ba bagay? I didnt know the skin can be eaten. Dipped in patis? oooh i should try that before i leave this dimension .. hehe Oo nga, ang mahal na ng pili (at kasuy) -- mabuti naman kasi kumikita na ang mga growers di ba ... for export na.

If pili can be grown in Hawaii, then macadamias should grow here too. I read years ago that macads were planted somewhere in Mindanao -- I just dunno what happened.

Which reminds me of the time I planted lychee seed sa backyard namin. It grew into a tree and it just kept getting taller and taller till we finally gave up and cut it down.

bugoy said...

madam belle pagkainurag mo talaga mag gibo ning mga posts oya.... pati photography...ok na ok...idol taka talaga...dai lang ako makabwelo ning husto sa pagpost ta mejo busy sa pag review para sa exam... gustung gusto ko na magsurat and magpost but i have to concentrate first on my review..duman nakasalalay ang bag-o mi pa sanang pakikipagsapalaran oya sa tate..well anyway... as i knew from ur posts..1 of ur daughter is n stanford u, su singaki ko kayang padi(priest) ajan man sa stanford, skolar man sya taking up masterals...from bato ang mother nya...sya su kahullon hullon ko duman sa chat box ko apwera saimo...

well... talking about pili...i remember when i was a kid, my dad would hand me a 'green pili' everytime we go to my grandpa's 'llate or bukid'. d green pili came from the newly sprouted growing seeds of pili...that taste good too...and i remember the time that i was hit in the head when my dad was at the top of the pili tree and i was the 'tagapunpon'(gatherer) of the pili that fell n d ground.. i wud never forget that pain n my head...buti d ako nag TBI (traumatic brain injury, malaking bukol lang ...

i can also remember the nice smell of the juice of a pili tree...nakakaadik..
besides, it's a good fire starter in the forest. you don't have to bring kerosene anymore..just make a small cut from the pili branch and get its juice then presto! u have an instant kerosene...
kya yung mga nag susunog ng basura malapit sa pili tree tapos nadarang yung isa sa mga dahon or sanga...mauubos masunog yung buong puno...

breaking the pili shell has still many stories to tell.. i remember my first tries (i was a kid then) to break it with a stone or a hammer ...several times that i hit my thumb or fingers esp. when i will do it just right after eating a meal (pili skin meats are very good viand (ulam/sila) esp if u matched it with hingmay na pinusakan ning lemon) wherein the shells were still wet. pilang veses ako natiltig kaito dahil sa sobrang excited na magkaon kaso 'ilog'.
i still have a funny story about breaking the shell of pili... my friend from manila who ddn't have any idea how to break the shell took several hours in boiling it thinking the hard shells would eventually soften... good thing that another bicolano fellow taught him the right way to do it...well at least after consuming all the gas in their gas tank...

bugoy said...

madam belle salla pallan ako...su singaki ko bako pallan sa stanford just wat i said b4...sa fordham u pallan sya...sorry for that..naribong ako

Belle TH said...

bugoy, i enjoyed reading your long comments, salamat! good thing it was only pili that landed on your head and not baby coconut. makulog iyon! ako alisto magsakat ta balingkinitan ako, kung anong kaya ning mga lalaki, kaya ko man. kaya lang extra careful pag asa itaas na ta one little mistake and I was done.

Kaso pag paribod ko ugaring, dai pa ning mga pili duman, igwa man pero kadikit sana. Pero sa Virac, igwa ning nakuang pili na tiladon pero daing lantahon.

kagugulo man kang amigo mo, maski anong pakulo niya kang pili dai iyan mayuta...hahaha.

Fordham su singaki mo gaeskuwela? That is a good school, too, in New Jersey, I believe. Ranked 25th in Law. Please tell him to visit my blog and maybe I can introduce him to mi hijita...

Take care bugoy and good luck sa review mo. Nurse ka ba? regards to your esposa.

Belle

sexy mom said...

and i realize how much effort is made in each pili nut that we eat. imagine, unlike peanut which could just be opened, it takes a lot of steps just to take out that fragile pili from the shell, and to turn it to the very end product--caramelized, toasted, mazapan.

i love pili nuts, in any form.

thanks, Belle, that's educational. when i go to bicol (my husband's home town), i will try to look for a pili nut tree (i didn't find any in daet, cn).

rhodora said...

Wow! Pili nuts!

I remember when I was in college, my roommate was from Naga. Every time she goes home, she would always bring us pili for pasalubong! Naku! Ang sarap! May tawag yung roommate ko diyan sa pili na caramelized, eh. Nakalimutan ko na. Teka.. .. . ah! santan! Ang tawag diyan, santan! Tama ba, Belle? Ganun din ba term sa inyo?