the Philippines


Manila, Luzon




More Information


Vegetables in a tropical country


There are a lot of typical 'tropical vegetables'. Many of these vegetables can be seen more and more on markets in Europe, Australia or North-America. Especially the last ten years. 

One of the main reasons for the increasing interest for tropical vegetables in Western Europe, is the presence of the multicultural societies in these countries.  Still, there are some vegetables which are still specific for the local markets in tropical countries like the Philippines.



Vegetables and their specific qualities

 (click on the thumbnail to view the full picture)





Calabasas (English: Squash) is a vegetable that is cultivated throughout the whole Philippines. It can be cooked with or without the skin. The colour of the skin can vary from green to yellow. The colour of the flesh is a deep yellowy-orange. The taste is (soft) sweet. Some people use the calabasa to make a cake. Calabasa is rich in vitamin A.




Gabi (English: Taro) is a tuberous plant. It's a root crop. The tubers (roots) differ in color and size. A seize of about 30 cm long, is possible. The flesh inside is white.  The taste of both leaves and tuber is acid. Cooking (with the skin removed) or baking takes this acid taste away. It is a native vegetable of India and parts of South-East Asia. The leaves are used in soups and stews, the cooked tuber is consumed as  sweets, desserts or used in vegetable dishes.




Kamote (English: Sweet Potato).    In the colonial period  the Kamote was introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniards. They brought the plant from tropical America.

A Kamote plant can produce several tubers. The tubers vary in colour, size and shape. The taste is sweet. The boiled potato is often eaten with  salty fish or little shrimps.

Practically the entire plant can be used for food or feed. The leaves are often used as a salad or as addition to stewed meals with other vegetables. Fish, fresh or dried, often completes a meal with Kamote leaves.




Kamunggay. This  is one of the frequently eaten and  cheap vegetables. The plant is a about 1.50 meter high. It's a  small tree with tuberous roots and fern-like foliage. Kamunggay is often used in meals with chicken or fish and other vegetables. 


Kamote: The state of Victoria, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, 2002

Images: Calabasa, Gabi: Hiroyuki&Kunchan

more vegetables  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |   more vegetables