I asked friends for their fondest fruit salad memories and recipes. Their replies were interesting:
Executive chef to former President Gloria Arroyo
“Malacañang is surrounded with fruit bearing trees including coconuts. I was inspired to use the ‘mala-uhog’ (baby coconuts) hanging just in front of the room of the President,” chef Babes recalled.
The coconuts of uniformed sizes were handpicked, cut equally in half and used as bowls to serve the cold fruit salad during the state visit of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
1 pc fresh buko, cut in half (the juice can be used to make pandan jello)
100 g papaya, cubed
100 g melon, cubed
50 g watermelon seedless, cut into cubes
25 g fresh jackfruit, cut into cubes
1 pc banana lakatan, sliced
1 tbsp kaong
1 tbsp nata de coco
1 tbsp macapuno
1 tbsp fresh green pinipig
1 cup buko pandan jello, cut into cubes
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 scoop ube ice cream
Add a little calamansi juice to bananas and papaya, mix.
Arrange fresh fruits on buko shell.
Add kaong, nata de coco, macapuno.
Serve with 2 scoops of ice cream.
Garnish with pinipig.
Aching Lillian’s fruit salad is an heirloom recipe that she learned from her grandmother Doña Maura Hizon Lorenzo. Back then, she said, fruit salad was served only during Christmas as it was only at that time that the ingredients were available.
2 cans fruit cocktail
1 cup fresh red apples
1 cup peaches
1 ½ cup whipped cream
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sugar
Chill all fruits—cocktail, apples and peaches—separately. Drain cold fruit cocktail and peaches.
Combine fruits and add sugar. Mix. Fold whipped cream into mayonnaise. Add fruits to cream, gently fold.
Serve as is or frozen.
One of chef J’s earliest memories was helping make fruit and buko salads at his mom Julie’s old Milky Way restaurant on Aguado St. San Miguel, Manila: “I remember the aroma of the sweet Nestle canned creme that filled the cold kitchen. Dozens of cans of Del Monte Fruit Cocktail opened, poured through a huge strainer for draining before being mixed into the cold creme.”
1 can fruit cocktail (825 g), chilled and drained
1/3 cup all-purpose cream, chilled
1 can condensed milk (387 g) chilled
1 tbs mayonnaise
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
Tita Beth perfected her fruit salad when she was in high school by experimenting with different ingredients. She calls it “my ultimate comfort dessert!”
2 medium cans Del Monte fruit cocktail, drained
1 medium can peach halves, drained and cut into cubes
¼ cup raisins (sultana is best)
1 cup shredded young coconut
1 big can of Nestle cream or whipped cream
½ cup of condensed milk (adjust to taste)
3 ripe lakatan bananas, cut into rounds
In a bowl, combine fruit cocktail, peaches, raisins and shredded young coconut.
Add the Nestle cream and the condensed milk (adjust for sweetness).
Cut the bananas into rounds and add to the bowl.
Serve well-chilled or slightly frozen.
Sau del Rosario
Chef Sau grew up in Angeles City. In the summer, his mother Lutgarda would take the family to Mexico, Pampanga, where he enjoyed fruit salad as merienda.
150 g fresh avocado from our backyard, scooped out
200 g mabolo, cut into cubes
200 g bananas
150 g mangoes
150 g watermelon, cubed, no seeds
100 g kesong puti (that we used to get from our neighbor)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp condensed milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
In a bowl, gently mix to combine all ingredients.
Cool for at least 1 hour.
Cut banana leaves and shape them into cones.
Wrap fruit salad in banana leaves and seal with a toothpick.
Jessie and her aunt Lita Dy plan their media noche feast annually, making sure to serve something different. But as Jessie said, “The only thing that should always be present is my aunt’s fruit salad.”
1 can Libby’s or Del Monte Fruit Cocktail, drained
1 small can Libby’s or Del Monte Peach Halves, drained and cut into cubes
Meat from 3 fresh buko, scraped from shell using a spoon, drained
2 pcs ripe mango, cut into cubes
20 pcs green seedless grapes, peeled
100 g kaong, drained
1 can Nestle cream (300 ml)
1 can Milkmaid condensed milk (150 ml)
100 g Velveeta Cheese, (50 g grated and 50 g diced)
½ pint mango ice cream
Mix all the fruits, kaong and cheese in a bowl.
Add the cream, condensed milk and mango ice cream.