FOOD

My Favorite Treats: Lola Abon’s Original Durian Candy

The “King of fruits,” Durian, is something that stirs up discussions, especially during Davao City festivities. Opinions vary when it comes to describing it. Many would say they love it, while many would despise it, even though they haven’t tried it, perhaps almost always because of its foul smell. Indeed, the fruit elicits a lot of strong reactions from natives and visitors alike.

While many people hate durian and would not even try it, I find that they would always have a disclaimer. “I don’t eat durian, but I love durian candy, particularly Lola Abon’s.” Upon hearing that, I understood because, as a child, I wouldn’t ever eat durian, but I would always ask my parents to buy me Lola Abon’s durian candy, which is just around 700 meters from where we live.

Durian. Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels.

Durian Candies as a Gateway to Durian Appreciation

The durian fruit can be an acquired taste, and even as a Davao native, it took 17 years for me to like it, and not even to the point of devouring it. Up to this day, I could only finish three or four pieces at most, depending on their variety.

Durian candies have variety as well. There’s the durian candy that was originally made by Lola Abon, and there are new assortments, such as the durian yema, which is still sweet. However, people who don’t like durian would also despise the yema because the texture still reminds them of durian.

Amongst all the durian candies that are available in the city, I have come to love Lola Abon’s durian candy the most. Having a sweet tooth, I would crave it for dessert or little snacks.

Lola Abon’s Durian Candies’ classic durian that people have loved since the 1950s

People who abhor durian would always crave Lola Abon’s original durian candy due to its original flavor that adds up a creamy, sweet texture to the acquired oddities of durian, without completely rubbing off its fruit essence.

Recently, Lola Abon’s also added the soft durian yema to their product line to also cater to people who love durian’s flavor profile. As expected, it also became a hit.

A History of Lola Abon’s Durian Candies

Lola Abon’s Durian candy was started by Abundia del Puerto Vda. De Raakin, popularly known as lola Abon. Unbeknownst to many, Lola Abon is a native of Cagayan de Oro City, not Davao City.

During the 1950s, lola Abon migrated to Davao along with her family. Unfortunately, she became a widow who had to raise her six children on her own. To be able to provide for her family, she sold her homemade “pastillas de leche” to government employees in the city.

Abon’s pastillas were selling well. To increase her product line, a close friend suggested adding durian flavor to her treats since it was Davao’s main fruit that almost only grows within the city. She tried making and marketing it, and it sold very well.

Her little business became a hit, and with her family’s help, she grew it up to this day as being a most sought-after delicacy and “pasalubong” to non-Davao dwellers.

Expanding Lola Abon’s Product Line

Once a mini little store in San Miguel, Matina, Lola Abon’s Durian Candy has extended its doors. More than their best-selling durian candies, they have expanded their product repertoire with durian jams, durian ice cream, durian coffee, durian ice candy, durian otap, durian piyaya, dried durian, and even frozen durian.

Apart from that, they also offer other Davao fruit delicacies for people who don’t like anything durian. Mangosteen candies, langka yema, sampaloc candy, classic pastillas, dilis, mushroom chicharon, and tuna skin are available in their store.

I would say one of their best new products is their table ice cream. I tell you, it’s really a must-taste! Since tablea has been a popular Davao export in recent years, it’s a great idea that they added it to their store.

Lola Abon’s has also become a one-stop shop for all Davao visitors or for Davao natives who love local products. Lola Abon’s also have a dress and accessory shop where you can buy malong, bags, and other accessories that are native not just to Davao but in other parts of Mindanao as well. Visiting Lola Abon will be a breeze for you, especially if you’re in a hurry because you can get all your “pasalubong” necessities.

In a city filled with new durian candies that emerged, Lola Abon’s durian candies would always stand out as the best and original, a classic that’s devoured by many.

Visit Lola Abon’s Durian Candies at 23 San Miguel Village, Matina, Davao City.

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