Hybrid Macopa?


Macopas and bananas

Mom got a surprise for us today. She brought home some fresh fruits from a makeshift market nearby — a bunch of bananas, green mangoes and some unusual looking apples. On closer look, the red fruits  are Malay Apples (Syzygium malaccense) or  Macopas about 3 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches in length. However, these fruits do not seem to conform to the standard shape and color of the native Macopa, that is, bell-shaped and maroon.

I would  not try to pry further on the fruits’ FYI because mom forgot to ask the info from the lady selling these fresh fruits. So without much ado, I took a bite…

A test bite

…and it tastes sweet and juicy in my mouth…  no usual tartness or sourness in it unlike the native maroon fruits …

more bites on the macopa

I dipped it with salt… and regretted it… oh well, the fruit is better left unsalted…

a bit of salt would make a difference

A fleeting thought crossed my mind as I munched on the Macopa’s succulent flesh… How come we always eat Malay apples as is and not mix it on salads? After more bites, my mind seemed to stare at page 404… Yup, no recipes I could think of. On the other hand, I remembered its folklore. So read on…

macopa seed revealed

The myth of the Macopa

According to the myth, there was a one-of-a-kind bell in an old church at  a coastal town. The people in this town were prosperous and religious folks. To honor God, they commissioned an artisan to create a bell that would emit a distinct merry sound when tolled. The artisan fashioned the bell in a shape of an inverted cup from pure gold. After they mounted the bell on the church tower, the people called it “Copa” which means cup. The bell then became the symbol of the people’s unity and prosperity; its fame reached far and wide.

One day, some fishermen saw a ship of bandits sailing toward the town; so they immediately alerted their leaders. Faced with impending danger, the leaders decided to hide the bell; they dismounted it from the tower and buried it at the back of the church. When the bandits arrived, they quickly seized the peaceful town without a fight and held everyone in hostage. However, they failed to find the golden bell. The bandits got furious and they started to kill the hostages one after the other to get the information they needed but no one talked.

When help came from neighboring towns, it was too late; the bandits were gone and the townsfolk were all dead. So the people buried the cadavers near the church. As months passed, the new stock of people living in that town found a small plant growing at the back of the church. It grew into a big tree and bore bell-shaped fruits with pink to dark red colors. The people called the fruit Macopa.

nearly consumed

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