Pecan vs. Pili

Someone just dropped me a delicious slice of pecan pie which is utterly divine.. as I munch and savor the flavor and crunch of this delicacy, I cannot help but pine for the even more delicious pili nut which is indigenous to my Mom’s region, Bicolandia.  (My mom hails from Bulan, Sorsogon which is on the southernmost tip of the Bicol Region.)

As the daughter of a native bicolana, I’ve seen the pili nut in its fruit, in the trees, in its shell and served as different pastries and delicacies which I truly miss.  I googled the nut and came across this interesting fact page from a Purdue University website featuring “new crops”

Pili Nut

Contributor: Francis T. Zee, USDA-ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Hilo, HI.

Copyright © 1995. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.

English: pili nut
Philippines: pili, anangi, basiad, liputi, pilaui, and pili-pilauai.

Scientific Names

Canarium ovatum Engl.
Burseraceae

Uses

Pili nut kernel is the most important product. When raw, it resembles the flavor of roasted pumpkin seed, and when roasted, its mild, nutty flavor and tender-crispy texture is superior to that of the almond. (Underscoring supplied by the Pinay New Yorker.) Pili kernel is also used in chocolate, icecream, and baked goods. The edible light-yellow color oil from the kernel is comparable in quality to that of olive oil, (Underscoring supplied again) containing 59.6% oleic glycerides and 38.2% palmitic glycerides. The young shoots and the fruit pulp are edible. The shoots are used in salads, and the pulp is eaten after it is boiled and seasoned. Boiled pili pulp resembles the sweet potato in texture, it is oily (about 12%) and is considered to have food value similar to the avocado. Pulp oil can be extracted and used for cooking or as a substitute for cotton seed oil in the manufacture of soap and edible products. The stony shells are excellent fuel or as porous, inert growth medium for orchids and anthurium.

Origin

Philippines: abundant and wild in Southern Luzon, and parts of Visayas and Mindanao in low and medium elevation primary forests.

Crop Status

A minor crop produced only in the Philippines. The bulk of the raw nuts are supplied from wild stands in the mountains around Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Sur in the Bicol region. The average annual production between 1983-1987 was 2925 tonnes of dried nuts from an estimated 2700 ha. Pili nut has the potential to become a major nut crop. Improvement of and knowledge in efficient vegetative propagation, ecological and cultural requirements of pili as a commercial crop, and the mechanization for commercial processing are needed.

To be touted as being more superior than the beloved almond and the venerated olive oil truly makes me proud.  And this is an academic evaluation of its properties — not some Bicolana like me waxing poetic about the pili.

My Mom would feel sad if she read this article because she would sigh in exasperation at how her kababayans continue to wallow in poverty instead of taking advantage of this possible source of livelihood.  To me, though, this is a source of pride indeed. 

 

 

In a Reading Rut

I got sidetracked from reading Queen Noor’s Leap of Faith, but I finally got to open it somehow last night and managed to read a few pages while nursing the baby to sleep.  (Talk about multi-tasking!)  I have vowed to finish the book soon and get on with my reading.  I received Harry Potter 6, The Half Blood Prince along with the rest of the world on July 16, but have yet to open the book and start reading.

Still waiting on my bookshelf:
Bill Clinton’s MY LIFE
Epstein and Horowitz’s IF I GET TO FIVE
Malcolm Gladwell’s BLINK

When General Tso comes calling

I loved it when my home office was by the Flat Iron District on 24th Street and you had a whole slew of choices for lunch — ranging from McDonald’s to French or Italian Cuisine.  These days, I’m usually stuck between going down and braving the cafeteria offerings or ordering out.  I made the mistake of taking the General Tso’s lunch special.  It looked delectable but a few spoonfulls after, I realize now that I should’ve stuck to the roasted Turkey.

Makes me want to go to CHOICES in Glorietta, or if there’s time, sit down in one of the restaurants in Greenbelt III.  I wouldn’t mind some arroz caldo in Via Mare finished off with a bibingka with quezo de bola.  The closest I can get to the bibingka I so love is the one served in Cendrillon in the village here.  I was just there two Saturdays ago but decided to forego the bibingka because we were having a late brunch and the hunger and the filling meal were too much for me to even think of anything else.

I’d bring lunch if I had leftovers but we had Burger King last night.  Alan and I stopped by a drive through on the way home, and tonight, I just found out we’re having pizza.. yipee!  I don’t feel like cooking much these days with all the chores that remain undone at the end of the day.  And as advised by the parenting magazines, I try to spend more time with Angel to compensate for the time we leave him in daycare.

We have a viewing deck on the 7th floor which I’ve visited twice now.. It gets a little windy there but with all the sun you can get, it’s pretty popular with those who want to get a tan.  Americans worship the sun — you’ll see them lunching out in the open and just taking it all in.  And back home, we even have our umbrellas out when the heat strikes us. 

Which reminds me of our last visit to the Epcot Center in Disneyworld in Florida two years ago — we saw some umbrellas open in the heat of the sun and Alan and I teased each other those must be Pinoys from back home — and true enough, they were Pinoys.. and yes, probably from back home.  See, it’s very rare that you will find us sheltering ourselves from the sun even on a 100 degree day.. umbrellas come out only when the rain’s here.

End of griping session about the General Tso’s Chicken. I should’ve known better, but hey, the presentation did it!

Yes, I'm back!

It’s nice to see posts from those who stop by once in a while to read what I write here.  It’s just me literally thinking online.  Blogging provides a different channel of expression on the web and I have become somewhat “addicted” to being able to spontaneously post my thoughts here.

It’s been a truly chaotic past few days.  Juggling the various tasks assigned to me by the boss and trying to run this office is a feat, and I can’t wait until Friday can provide me some much needed respite from the constant whirl.

After arriving here just a few minutes after 9 this morning, I haven’t had the chance to really sit down and rest, and I’m half buried in paperwork that needs revisions, presentations that need tweaking, etc., etc., etc.  While I welcome the chance to work with Powerpoint (my presentation software of choice!), I usually need more time to get something creative flowing.

At least I am back.. that’s a thrill!