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Philippines have a chestnut which practically nobody knows

A report recently received from Danilo Tiu an experienced researcher, on his own research about a Philippine chestnut which practically nobody knows, to be found in many places in the Philippines.

This is the Talakatak as it is supposed to be called in Quezon and Camarines but which is also known by many other names in different places. The nut tastes somewhat like the imported Chinese castañas that is often available during the Christmas season. 

"A few years back, at the Agri-Kapihan, the late Ramon Tan brought some for us to taste. We liked the fruit, but it is only at this time that we are reminded of this endemic chestnut (found only in the Philippines) when Danilo Tiu sent us what he found in literature about Talakatak. Tiu is a UP Los Baños graduate who is engaged in the plant business."

In his research of information about Talakatak, Danny says that it is widespread but never abundant. It is found in Malinao, Albay; different towns of Bulacan; Camarines in Bicol; Siniloan in Laguna; Montalban and Antipolo in Rizal; Lucban, Quezon; Oriental Mindoro; Nueva Vizcaya; Puerto Princesa in Palawan; Buenavista near Jaro, Leyte; Samar; Agusan del Norte; North Cotabato and Basilan.

In his research, Danny observes that other than the identity and descriptions, almost nothing is written about the plant. Which leads him to ask: If the taste and texture are similar to the Chinese castañas, why does it remain as an unrecognised crop in the country? Why is the plant itself not known to many?

Talakatak is one plant that is awaiting serious study (research) by agricultural scientists and development for commercial production by farmers. Danny has a few plants but he observes that they are very slow-growing. Well, one of the studies by researchers could focus on how to accelerate the growth of Talakatak plants. Aside from propagating by seed, Danny has not read anything about multiplying by asexual means.

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