Mabolo or kamagong also called butter fruit or velvet apple is indigenous to the Philippines. The word mabolo actually means “hairy” in the local dialect because of the furry skin of the fruit. It belongs to the family of ebony trees and persimmons.
The fruit has a velvety skin and reddish or brown in color and the flesh inside is creamy pinkish in color. The taste is hard to describe but it is creamy and sweet but not too sweet, almost savory in flavor.
The tree can grow up to 50 ft tall. I remember our mabolo tree when I was growing up and it is higher than our rice storage house or kamalig. It is a tropical tree and does not need special soil. If planted from seeds, it will take from 6-7 years for it to fruit. But if is propagated from cuttings, expect to fruit in 3-4 years.
Mabolo is a very nutritious fruit. Like other fruits, it has protein, potassium, iron, calcium. Vit. A, C and B vitamins.
While fruits are nutritious, the other parts of the tree are used in herbal medicines. barks, and roots are used for treating skin problems like eczema, and also fever and cough.
When I was young, eating mabolo is a just like eating any other fruits in our yard. What I did not know is that the tree is also called “kamagong”. Kamagong is supposedly a hard type of tree and can be used in making furnitures. I would like to plant this in my yard from now on but I know it will be hard to find now. The fruits is not as popular because of its unpleasant odor and is very rare to find in the marketplace.