So what is ubod? Yes, it’s the heart of the coconut, but we also call the bloom of the banana puso ng saging which literally translates to heart of the banana, as opposed to calling it banana flower. We don’t get them from the same spot on the tree, nor do we need to cut down the banana to get the heart. So what is ubod?
My first introduction to it was when our neighbor’s coconut tree had to go down. With all the neighbors on watch, I was one of those nosy kids that were running around and being repeatedly told that I should not stand in the way. After all, a tree, no matter how short, is still a tree.
After it has fallen down and I really don’t know the neighbors were doing, my dad took a knife and cut off a piece of the felled tree. I don’t know why that part was exposed at that time, but he asked me to take a bit. I was hesitant, thinking that it was a trick, but after he took a bite, I took one as well. It was good! It reminded me of the huge tumbong in the niyog (a growth inside a mature coconut, that is supposedly the start of a shoot). I loved it. I even like the part of the young leaves where you can see the layers. I loved everything about it. Then the memory just sort of floated at the back of my mind.
It was during our trips to Tagaytay during ate and kuya Dino’s wedding preparations that we ended up in this market, in search of the place where I can buy plants cheaply. Who would have thought that the Mahogany Market would also have the ubod?! So we bought and I started eating some. And now, I always want some ubod when we go anywhere near Tagaytay 🙂
PS. The puso ng saging is called such because the fruit for the saba bananas are red, and well, looks like its heart 🙂