The duhat (Syzygium cumini), from the flowering plant family called Myrtaceae, is a seasonal fruit which Filipinos look forward to eat and enjoy from April to July each year. This drupaceous1 fruit resembles large oblong or ovoid berries.
It is also called black plum, jambolan, jamun, or Java plum. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, adjoining regions of Southeast Asia, China and Queensland.
The unripe fruit is green and its color changes to pink, then to shining crimson red, and finally to black.
Oh my, what big duhats you have in Nagcarlan, Laguna! Compare their size with my thumb and sunglasses! So big, so juicy, so yummy!
Just image picking the fruits beside your window or on your roof!
Duhat is a rich source of vitamins A and C as well as minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. It is medicinal for people experiencing dysentery, diabetes and diarrhea.2
This favorite raw fruit of mine tastes so heavenly when it is fully mature or ripe, with the right combination of sweet, mildly but pleasantly sour, and astringent flavors.
duhat, sold by transient vendors, by the bunch or measuured by the glass
I love it when I refrigerate it, then shake it with rock salt! How about you? The saltiness compliments the abovementioned flavors so I see to it that I chew away all the yummy “flesh”from the seed which is not eaten (although it is said to have healing qualities in Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicine). The down side is that it definitely colors my tongue blue-violet since I eat a lot of it at any one time, but I do not mind that at all!
Duhat is also made into brandy, distilled liquor, juice, tarts, sauces, vinegar and wine in different parts of the world.
Most information is from the Wikipedia page “Syzygium cumini”.3
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1A drupaceous fruit is a stone fruit with an outer fleshy part (exocarp or skin and mesocarp or flesh) surrounding a single shell (pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed (kernel) inside, according to the Wikipedia page “Drupe”.4 Examples are apricot, cherry, duhat, peach, plum and siniguelas.
3“Syzygium cumini,” accessed February 18, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_cumini.
4“Drupe,” accessed February 18, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drupe.