The legendary Pajo mango
Maybe you have heard the “The Legend of Maypajo“, a Philippine folklore story told by an old man about the village Maypajo which unfolds a tragic tale of a mother and daughter. It is said that the fruit Pajo/Paho received its name from this village Maypajo.
For many years mothers repeated this warning to their children and travelers were told “Huwag kayong dadaan sa may pajo!” (“Do not pass near the pajo tree!”) No one dared any longer to go near the tree, even after asking permission from the old man of the mound, and the people moved their houses to a distance from where they could not hear either the singing and playing or the mournful warning voice. (excerpt: The Legend of Maypajo)
One fruit – many dialects
Doreen Fernandez in her book Fruits of the Philippines lists at least 9 different names for the fruit in the various Philippine dialects: Paho or Pajo (in Tagalog), Popouan (in Pampango) or Pangi (in Visayan).
The pajo mango (Mangifera altissima) is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands. The tree is similar to the regular mango trees, however their leaves are bigger than that of the typical carabao mango tree. The peak season is from March to May.
How does pajo mango look like?
Pajo mango is “legendarily small”; it has the size of a child’s fist. It is a small green and sour, when unripe. When it ripes, it turns slowly yellow and fleshy. The taste becomes then very sweet and pulpy yet fibrous!
Where to buy and how much?
Best place to find them is Bankerohan market, but also smaller markets like Agdao or Matina market are offering this seasonal fruit. The price varies: one piece can cost between Php5.00 – 12.00.
Nutrition by the Numbers
One cup (225 grams contain) contains the following. Percentages apply to daily value.
76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
25 percent vitamin A (antioxidant and vision)
11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
9 percent healthy probiotic fiber
9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
4 percent magnesium
Read more here.