Davao fruits in a glass

Subscribe Now July 10, 2013 at 08:50am

DAKBAYAN sa Dabaw, or more popularly known as Davao City, is the second most populous and the third most significant metropolitan area in the Philippines. It serves as the trade, commerce, and industry hub in Mindanao and the regional center for Davao Region.

One of Davao's economic allies is agriculture despite the fact it is a city (with a total land area of 2,444 square kilometers). As a matter of fact, agriculture accounted for almost half (roughly 48 percent) of the city's economy.

Davao has been considered as the "durian capital of the Philippines" as the controversial fruit (which "smells like hell but tastes like heaven," according to one scribe) is grown extensively.

But there's more to Davao than just durian. In fact, Davao is a leading producer of mango, pomelo, banana, mangosteen, papaya, and pineapple.

Other fruits abound throughout the year, too, like santol, tamarind, watermelon, oranges, guava, and passion fruit - to name a few.

It's just a matter of time that someone will come up with an idea of concocting these fruits into a drink.

The Morisco Ristorante Italiano, which serves authentic Italian foods, is offering such kind of drinks to their customers next month during the celebration of Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival.

Kadayawan is derived from the friendly greeting "Madayaw," a term taken from a Dabawenyo word dayaw, which means "good." The festival, touted as Mindanao's mother of all festivals, is celebrated throughout the month of August although the main festivity happens on the third week.

"The drinks will be our way of greetings to our guests," explained Marissa Te Eng Fo, the restaurant's general manager, during our recent visit. "The fruits we will use are those that are grown in the city."

Fruit drinks (including shakes and smoothies), which are very popular in Davao City, are available year-round. The main ingredients and the preparation are almost always the same regardless which fruit is added. It all depends on the availability or on which fruits are in season.

During our recent visit, I tagged along my friend, singer Wency Cornejo (the former lead vocalist and primary songwriter of the Filipino rock band Afterimage in the '90s who popularized such songs as "Habang May Buhay," "Next in Line," and "Mangarap Ka").

Before our dinner, we were treated with the drinks Morisco will be offering this Kadayawan.

These were: "La Mayora," a tamarind drink with tequila; Pomelo Perronie, a non-alcoholic drink made of pomelo and calamansi; Guava Maluisa, concocted from a fresh guava fruit with tequila; Papaya Rae, made of fresh pick papaya, avocado and tarragon; and Pineapple Bates, made of pineapple freshly juiced and basil.

Wency and I tried each of the drinks offered to us. Our verdict: Wency liked the Pomelo Perronie while I settled for Pineapple Bates.

Morisco Ristorante Italiano is located at the SM Premier in Lanang, Davao City. It is at the back of the mall and just a few walks away from the fountain (which is a bonus since guests and visitors can get to see the fountain dances and lights changes color to the tune of a song).

The concocted drinks from fruits will also be available at Don Beppe Ristorante Italiano, which is located on The Peak on the 5th level parking of Gaisano Mall in J.P. Laurel Street.

These Italian restaurants are the brainchild of the group called Gli Amici Corporation, which is composed of seven doctors and lawyers.

"We really love eating Italian food," said Dr. Oscar Escudero, who serves and Gli Amici president.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

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