How to Preserve Santol Fruit

Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by marvz

You can preserve santol fruits. Product examples are santol candy, santol wine, and sinantolan. If you worry about what to do with surplus santol, then you came into the right place.

The fruit is in demand when the first few fruits ripen. Yet, people quickly lose interest as more fruits become available.

Price plunges. Thus, many tree owners don’t want to harvest. They often let the fruit fall and rot.

You can process the fruits instead.

Use santol as souring agent – pampaasim for sinigang, ginataan, and sinaing na tulingan

Santol fruit is a good souring agent – pampaasim. It gives a unique flavor apart from its counterparts – kamias, tamarind, and vinegar.

Most prefer the sour variety, although sweet fruits may achieve the same feat.

As a side note. Sweet santol may turn sour and vice versa depending on soil nutrients.

To use santol fruit as a souring agent:

  1. Wash the fruit to remove dirt.
  2. Scrape off the rind outer surface.
  3. Quarter. The the seeds are bitter, so avoid cutting any.
  4. Then use in recipes such sinigang, ginataang labong, and sinaing na tulingan.
  5. Experiment to get the best ratio.

Make a dried souring agent – pampaasim na santol – during abundance

Drying is the easiest and the best way to preserve excess santol fruits.  It reduces the weight and volume for easy packaging. It’ll last if properly dried and packed.

To make a dried santol souring agent, follow the steps:

  1. Rinse the fruit to remove dirt. Scrape off the rind outer surface.
  2. Quarter.
  3. Scoop out seeds. Discard or plant for more harvest.
  4. Scrape the rind’s soft part. Use it for making jam or sinantolan.
  5. Slice to 5 mm thickness. Thicker is fine but drying will take longer.
  6. Dry under the sun, in the oven, or in an electric dryer.
  7. Store in an airtight container. 
  8. Pack in polypropylene or laminated pouches if you’re selling the output.

I’ve tried cooking with the dried rind. The flavor is great.  Though there’s a slight difference in taste versus using fresh fruits.

Sweet and sour santol are applicable for drying. Both will impart a sour taste to a  dish.

For use as a souring agent, I suggest choosing fresh fruits during season. Reserve the dried santol rind during off months.

Make santol rind candy

Santol candy can be your favorite. A sweet made by hacking the rind further. Prepare santol rind slices, cook it in a syrup of desired concentration, and dry.

The resulting product depends on how it’s done. It may resemble a gummy bear candy. I did several trials before. They were sweet, a bit sour, and had lingering tart towards the end.

Follow the steps to make santol rind candy:

  1. Get ripe santol fruits.
  2. Wash to remove the dirt, then scrape off the outer rind.
  3. Quarter.
  4. Remove the seeds. Discard or plant for more harvest.
  5. Scoop the rind soft part. Use it for making sinantolan or for making jam. 
  6. Cube or slice the rind.
  7. I suggest 5 mm cubes or slices with 4 mm thickness. Going for larger cubes and thicker slices will lengthen the cooking time and the drying time. 
  8. Prepare the syrup.
  9. Make a 50% sugar solution by mixing 1 kg sugar to 1 liter water.
  10. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  11. Add the cube or slices. Then continue boiling to a semi-transparent appearance.
  12. At this point, you may serve it as sweetened santol rind – minatamis na santol.
  13. Dry the candy.
  14. Drain off the syrup. You may still use it for cooking the next batch. Else, use it to sweeten your juice, milk, and coffee.
  15. Dry under the sun, in the oven, or electric fruit dryer.
  16. Pack in pp bags, laminated pouches, or airtight jar.

Sinantolan- ginataang santol

A santol product that I’ve not eaten yet, the sinantolan. They also call it ginataang santol – cotton fruit cooked in coconut milk.

Some folks include pork.

Oh! Pork with back fat surely makes it taste great.

A friend suggested using only the softer part of the rind. The tougher part has an unpleasant astringent taste. However, do not discard the rind.  Make santol rind candy!

I have the basic idea of how to make ginataang santol. Yet, I have to verify it first.

How to make santol wine

An additional possibility which I’ve never tried yet. I’ve tried making wine out of other fruits though.

Make wine using the simple steps. Note, the last step will take you to a long and complicated process. Sorry about that!

  1. For santol, with the aid of an electric blender, mash rinds with a known volume of water.
  2. The softer rind is sweet and tasty while the tougher part will impart tartness. Your challenge is getting the right balance.
  3. Next, proceed with the regular winemaking steps.

Passing rinds through an electric juicer won’t work because very little juice could be extracted.

Random opinion

Every fruiting season, I’m excited to see plump fruits turning yellow. I often get them half-ripe. Then, break the rind to reveal cotton-like seeds. Hoping to enjoy them like candy, but the flavor is best at peak maturity – full yellow.

At peak maturity, after taking a few, I start to lose my interest. Others probably feel the same because trying to sell ripe santol at a reasonable price is impossible.

So far, I’ve only seen two santol products available in the marketplace, bottled sinantolan and santol rind candy.

Common questions about santol

The answers to your common questions?

1. When to harvest santol fruits?

Harvest santol fruit when fully yellow.  A small green portion near the stalk is fine.

Unlike mango and passion fruit, santol fruits that have fallen to the ground are not good to eat. They’re about 10-30% spoiled. You’re gonna see brown discoloration upon opening.

2. The santol fruit is brown upon opening. Is it still good to eat?

The santol you have is spoiled already. It’s undergoing fermentation. Don’t eat. Discard.

3. Can I harvest green santol fruit?

Nope, if you intend to ripen it like mango and avocado. Santol is a non-climacteric fruit. Meaning, it will never ripen once you pick it.

4. Can I eat santol fruit that has fallen to the ground?

Every santol fruit that has fallen to the ground is about 10-30% spoiled.  It’s undergoing a natural fermentation process. Although it’s safe, I suggest not to.

5. My santol fruit turns brown upon opening. Is it natural?

Yes it’s natural. Santol fruit flesh and other fruits will turn brown upon contact with air.

In addition, a prolonged cooking period will render your product brown.

6. What’s the shelf life of santol products?

It depends on the product and how well you do the process. Dried and vacuum packed rind will lasts  for years. While ginataan without any preservative is good for a few days.

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