Pili Fruit and Nut

Fruit and Nut
Fruit and Nut

A friend of mine, Chel, came back from Bicol recently from a business trip and came back with some loot for me: Fresh Pili and Pili nuts (still in its shell)! I had the wonderful taste of this nut when we went to Bicol to check some of mom’s property, along with a side trip to Caramoan Watersports Complex (CWC) for some wakeboarding. We bought half a kilo of the strange nut that I didn’t know what to do with to take home to Manila. It took a few more weeks after that before I attempted to crack some with the now broken meat tenderizer (which somebody else broke) and then a hammer. The hammer was more successful in getting the goodies out.
Cooking the fruit away

The fruit, on the other hand, would be a new experience. It was steeped in hot water for a while then drained. It was supposed to taste like sweet potato. But it didn’t! I wasn’t sure if I did anything wrong, but it was a bit bitter, a bit on the chewy side. After the first taste, I just wanted to get a cracking. I assumed that the fresher hard shell would be easier to crack to get the nut.

So I put out my trusty hammer and a handy floor mat ready to do some heavy pounding. The two things are a mainstay in the pili process for me. I have no idea how the folks in Bicol peel/crack thousands of these things, but this is my way. The mat is there to avoid shattering the concrete (I do this on the floor, squatting) into pieces, and to also keep the nut in place, almost like when you’re schucking oysters. Pieces of  flying hard wood are deadly too, so I ensure to cover the nut with the mat on top before hitting.
My cracking utensils
I used to think that crazy force was needed to get the prize inside. But a little caution was also needed. Enough force to crack the shell, but enough hold to NOT smash the actual nut into smithereens. It’s easy to do, the smashing into smithereens, not the cracking. It takes a pound or two of direct force to crack one. Another pound might be needed to loosen the meat, hopefully still whole.
The treat inside
As mentioned ealier, this is my intitial foray into a fresh Pili. I was expecting the fresh meat inside to be different from the (I guess dried) shells you see sold in the streets, but the difference is astounding! I have heard so much about the oiliness of the nut and always wondered about this since the nut coming from the dried shells were just like regular nuts, a bit softer. But this one! The nut coming from the fresh fruit is amazing. It almost shoots out of the shell because of its oiliness! And it has a crisper texture, compared to the chewy one of the dried nut.
Fresh vs. Dried

Forgive me because the picture above is overexposed. But look at the differences. Another thing, for the dried nut, you can hardly remove the skin, and I just resort to eating it whole. The fresh one comes out white and clean. I just ate everything up raw! I’m looking forward to another batch of these 🙂 I enjoyed the last bits on top of my still in the freezer gata ice cream 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Pili Fruit and Nut

  1. This is Owen from china, i am live in makati manila. i am looking for the pili nuts. if u still have this business pls text me 09151052797 or 09238918320 . we will need more than ten tons every month , we need 15 tons now, if u have can u give me ur price and how many can u deliver every month in the future. my email is fly_ways@yahoo.cn

  2. I am Pili Nuts dealer, looking for buyers. Pili Nuts are highly beneficial for health. These delectable nuts not only prevent cardiovascular diseases but also help in maintaining brain balance, developing healthy bones, hormone production and muscle tissues. These nuts are frequently utilized in several desserts including cakes. In addition, pili nuts contain magnesium, amino acids and protein that play a vital role in detoxification of liver, healthy blood-sugar levels and regulation of body’s energy.

    Pili Nuts can be processed with rich nut milks, and pestos, added to salads, pickles, rice, dressings or eaten on their own for a highly energy, nutritionally sound snack.
    The B complex vitamins in Pili Nuts have ability to ease stress and boost energy levels. Amino acids regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and prevent mood swings. Pili Nuts are considered as the most nutritious and healthiest nuts in the entire world.

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