Arnis fruit


After our practice recently, Master Cris and I went to the fruit and vegetable stand owned and manned by a fellow arnisador, Johnny.  When we arrived there, Master Cris asked me, “Ma’am nakakita na ba kayo ng bunga ng arnis?” (Ma’am have you seen the fruit of arnis?)

At first I thought he was asking me a profound figurative question and although a bit puzzled, I started to think about how to answer.

Haha! I didn’t have to make the effort afterall, because Master Cris was referring to the literal rattan fruit also known as kalapi.

Yes, I’m a filipino based in the Philippines but I’ve never seen this fruit before. Maybe I just wasn’t aware but I don’t even remember seeing a rattan tree before.

That's Johnny, introducing me to the real fruits of arnis!
Johnny and I, documenting my first time to see a kalapi.

Anyway, from afar they looked like longgan or lychees. Close up, the outer layer looked like scales or snake skin. When you peel it, you’ll see shiny brownish flesh.

rattan fruit, kalapi

The taste? SOUR! Much like a very sour calamansi or tamarind. But after a few seconds, there was a sweet aftertaste and Johnny said that in October when it will really be in season, it will be sweeter.

Ok, that will be worth waiting for. For now, I’ll pass… 🙂