Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sampinit – Philippine Wild Raspberries

Sampinit in bilao

A caveat: There’s not a lot of literature written about sampinit. What I’m posting here is purely from personal experience, what I know, what I’ve seen and what I’ve tasted. Nothing extracted from a “tropical fruit” journal. Wikipedia did not help this time as well. This is all me, purely my thoughts.


P20 worth of Sampinit

When I first posted photos of sampinit on my Facebook page (yes, I have one) a lot of my Filipino friends were pleasantly surprised to know that such a fruit can be found in our native land. I was familiar with it but by no means was it common. It was and remains a rare summer treat. Not widely available and only for a short period of time. That partly explains it being on the pricey side. I used to pick them myself as I could not afford the going “market rate” back in the ‘80s.


Sampinit in bilao

It might be expensive compared to other tropical fruits but once you understand what it takes before they appear in some ale’s banana leaf lined bilao you’ll accept the price as fair if not cheap. I am not aware if attempts have been made to cultivate this precious jewel of the forest. From what I know nothing has changed in how sampinit is harvested. They are sporadically found in Laguna’s rainforest. Some brave souls needed to endure the sweltering summer heat to come up with a kilo of this much loved wild berries. The berry bush, by the way, is surrounded by sharp thorns adding to the tricky nature of collecting them.



Raspberries from the supermarket

Compared to the commercially available raspberries sampinit are a bit smaller and thereby more delicate. The flavour is very similar to the regular raspberry but it is more robustly astringent and tart. They are not genetically modified to become sweeter and plumper to suit the consumer. They have been left as nature intended. I think sampinit would be great in compotes, sauces, pastries and even cakes if you can get a hold of enough of them.


Raspberries from the supermarket

You can devour sampinit straight from the bush but some people prefer to add a bit of salt (yes, you read right, salt!) to bring out more of that berry goodness. They let it stand in the salt for a few minutes which then slowly releases the berry juices. It is a known way of eating sampinit in Laguna. You’ll notice a small jar of salt on the bilao in one of my photos.

They’re about P10 for a shot size glass filled to the brim. I think that amounts to barely 100g of the stuff. I’m kicking myself now for not buying more and made something out of them. On the next trip back home I promise myself not to miss the opportunity…whenever that may be.

30 comments:

Edik said...

I am not familiar with that berry here in Bohol but I've read somewhere that it is called wild raspberry (para sosyal hehehe). You can read some description on them here- http://www.bar.gov.ph/barchronicle/2009/may2009_news6.asp

The Beancounter said...

Thanks for the link Edik! I'm hoping they have been successful although I have never heard about this...Might drop by for a visit next time i'm home...Quezon is just next door...

cusinera said...

So that is what it's called....I remember buying this wild raspberry outside Canossa College Gate in Laguna when I was in Grade 1. So delicious with salt!

The Beancounter said...

brought back memories ei miss C?

Jun Belen said...

WOW! This is so cool. I never knew raspberries grow in the wild back home. Somebody told me that blueberries grow in the wild, too, in Sagada. Amazing.

The Beancounter said...

It's always great to discover new things... now off to Sagada for some blueberries... i wish! Thanks for dropping by Jun!

ranilyn said...

this article is cool. but i was just wondering if SAMPINIT is the same with SAPINIT because both of them are PHILIPPINE WILD RASPBERRY in english. i just need it for my thesis. thanks :))

The Beancounter said...

Thank you very much Ranilyn. My apologies for the late reply. I was too caught up with my day job. I actually have not posted anything for the past couple of months. I think Sampinit and Sapinit are the same thing. Sampinit is the term used by people from San Pablo City, Laguna.

Nikka Garriga said...

Good day Sir!

My name is Nikka Garriga. I'm a Multimedia Reporter from LOQAL.PH. I was doing some research on the Sapinit and I came across your entry. I just wanted to ask your permission if I could use one of your photos for a feature story I'm writing about this particular fruit? It will be properly attributed along with a link redirecting to this post. I can be contacted at nikka.garriga@filquestmedia.com should you have a reply or any additional query.

Thank you Sir and more power to your blog! :)

Flo said...

As a biosciences this sampinit wild berries from the mountain of Quezon has distinct chemicals that control any human cancers.

The Beancounter said...

How did you go Nikka? I sent you a private email giving you permission...thanks!

The Beancounter said...

That's good to know Flo! We should start farming these berries then!

Photobooth Manila said...

Hi! I just watched the Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho about Sampinit. I just confused about the similarity of this fruit. Is it really the same as the raspberry too? I want to taste this fruit. Aside of curiosity, I also liked the nutritional content as it was stated from the TV.

The Beancounter said...

The taste is indeed very similar to raspberry Photobooth Manila but sampinit has got that unmistakeable 'wild' taste. They're available in the summer.

I have to watch that Kapuso episode... Thanks for sharing... And thanks for dropping by...

Anonymous said...

hi where can i buy the produce? is it available here in manila?

The Beancounter said...

Hello there Anonymous!

I found these at San Pablo City public market last summer. They're very rare. They're not always available.

You might be better off going to Dolores, Quezon. Do watch Jesicca Soho's Kapuso Mo 14 April episode. In Dolores you can get all sorts of sampinit products.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
irish joy said...

hi po..
I just want to ask where can I buy sampinit wine..
What is the exact address of the store and the name of it?
I hope you can answer my question immediately..
thank you..
May God bless you always..

The Beancounter said...

Thanks for dropping by Irish Joy. I do not have the exact address. Your best bet is to re-watch Jessica Soho's feature on Sampinit/Sapinit.

Apologies for the late reply...

Unknown said...

Hi Beancounter,

Do you know anyone cultivating sampinit? I'm trying to start a collection of local berries and would want to grow these as well.

Any contact would be appreciated greatly.

Thank you and regards

Unknown said...

Hi Beancounter,

Do you know anyone cultivating Sampinit? I just started growing local berries and would like to very grow these berries.

Any contact or information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and regards

The Beancounter said...

Apologies for the late reply. I haven't been regularly updating my blog as you can probably tell. To answer your question though, no, i do not know anyone cultivating sampinit. The ones available in San Pablo public market were all wild. You might want to contact Miss Jessica Soho's team. They did a special on this a few months back.

Essi said...

I used to pick sampinit every time we went to our grandma's farm(jungle!) in Laguna. You can still find it growing on the wild, I picked some last week and it brought my childhood memories back.

Anonymous said...

These berries are all over the Cordillera mountains as well, like the Mountain Province for example. There are also yellow/orange berries called "salmon berry" that grow on the ground, unlike these wild raspberries.

You can find a LOT of the wild raspberries in the mountains, along with a lot of other stuff if you know what you're looking for!

The Beancounter said...

Thank you for that contribution Anonymous!

mataripis said...

i thought sampinit is wild strawberry. i have this plant in Tanay,Rizal .It grows as wild plant there and the natives called it as sampinit. in forest floor thorny sampinit plants thrive well. i tasted the berries and they are not too sweet but aromatic . i am not sure if its sweetness will improve if cultivated in open sunny areas/fields.if you want planting materials just inform me but it will take several months to make this plant established their roots in pots with sandy soil.

mil capistrano said...

Me and my brother used to visit the forest areas in Laguna to pick these amazing raspberries when visiting our Grandfather's farm :) the experience is awesome

The Beancounter said...

Apologies for the very delayed response Mataripis...lots have been going on and I have neglected this blog a little bit...

Sampinit is definitely a kind of berry and is wild but not like straw at all...

They can be very sweet if left to ripen on the vine/plant...

never seen them grown in anyone's garden... i've only seen them in the rainforest or palengke..

The Beancounter said...

Apologies for the late response Mil Capistrano...

We might have been neighbours...

Shalan said...

Hi! Thank you very much for your blog post. My thesis is all about this fruit. Can I use one of your pictures for my manuscript? I can send you back a write-up of my study if you like. Please contact me at shajoenki@gmail.com. Thanks!