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Chesa (Filipino), a.k.a. Canistel, a.k.a. Egg Fruit

Ovo-friendly Fruit

Known as Chesa or Tiessa in the Philippines, and Canistel in the western speaking world, this past Monday for the first time ever, I got to try what’s also aptly nicknamed “Egg Fruit”; and that’s the perfect description.

Chesa (Filipino), a.k.a. Canistel, a.k.a. Egg Fruit

Actually, I tasted Chesa before even knowing what it was, which at first had me perplexed what to think of it.

Upon first impression, It has this really weird semi-soft, starchy, semi-chalky texture and mouthfeel, like the yolk of an egg that’s been boiled too long.

Chesa (Filipino), a.k.a. Canistel, a.k.a. Egg Fruit

And that’s almost exactly what the flesh of Chesa, a.k.a. “Eggfruit” tastes like to me: an egg yolk that’s been boiled too long, while having a subtle sweetness to it; underscore more “meaty-starchy” than “fruity-sweet”.

Chesa (Filipino), a.k.a. Canistel, a.k.a. Egg Fruit

The thin waxy skin is edible and hardly noticeable when you bite into it, similar to a pear.

At first, its starchiness and psychological resemblance of its color reminded me of sweet potato, but the more I thought about its subtle, yet distinctive flavor and strange texture, it was clear to me, this was a slightly sweet boiled egg yolk disguised as a fruit.

Boiled Eggs: Image courtesy of StopLookinGetCookin.com.

Faux Egg Salad Sandwich

While I didn’t actually do it, because of its uncanny resemblance, I was thinking of taking the Chesa, a.k.a. Eggfruit and finely chopping it up, then mix it with mayonnaise to make a faux egg salad sandwich out of it.

Egg Salad Sandwich. Image courtesy of KitchenScoop.com.

Chesa + Mayonnaise = Faux Egg Salad Sandwich: how you figgah? Would work, eh? I going try next time! Chance ’em!

What came first? Chicken or the Egg Fruit?

Tastes Like Chicken

This brings to mind how ironic it is that so many things that aren’t chicken taste like chicken. Alligator, bull frog, kangaroo, iguana, snapping turtle, snake, quail and even termites are all said to taste like what? Chicken. And now we have a FRUIT of all things that tastes like, in an indirect way, what? Chicken!

Chicken! Chicken! Chicken! Sick of it! LOL

Health Benefits of Chesa

Regarding its health benefits, The Earth of India blog writes that Egg Fruit is high in beta-carotene, beneficial for eyes, hair and skin. Additionally, “Carotenoids fight cancers, age related degeneration, depression, headaches, heartburn, and high blood pressure.”

It’s also said that “one serving of eggfruit provides a good quantity of iron, a mineral essential for blood health due to its ability to facilitate proper oxygen circulation. Iron also promotes good memory, stable energy levels and overall strength.”

Growing Eggs

Egg Fruit Tree. Image courtesy of The Earth of India blog.

According to a Pinay coworker of mine who’s familiar with the fruit, she says Chesa trees grow super tall, from about the height of an orange tree, to as colossal as a mango tree, and can be found grown on Oahu, most commonly at the residences of local Filipino folks. Just look also for the Malungay Tree. The Chesa featured here that I tried was from a home in Ewa Beach.

P.S. While we’re out ‘n about in the yard, following are some photos I took this past Easter Sunday at Mom’s place of various flowers ‘n stuff. Enjoy. ;-)

Water Lily

Water Lily

Water Lily


Fig Tree

Figs and Surinam Cherries (supah’ sweet!)

Red Maroon Hibiscus

Purple Orchids

Anthuriums (some HUGE!), with Rosemary growing in front, and Hawaiian Chili Pepper behind it (still green)


5 thoughts on “Chesa

  • April 10, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Wow, beautiful flowers! Where does your Mom live? Must be somewhere cool to have such nice plants growing at her home.

    • April 11, 2015 at 6:34 am


      What? You didn’t know that Red Maroon Hibiscus is also known as a Cuban El Capitolio, a.k.a. “Castro’s GF”? Come on man. I knew that all along! You kiddin’ me? LOL!

      It’s funny how Hibiscus is Hawaii’s state flower. You’d think it’d be the Plumeria. I mean, sheesh, when was the last time you’ve seen a Hibiscus Lei? Like, NEVER.

      Actually, my absolute favorite flower, FRAGANCE-WISE, is the Gardenia, followed by Pakalana. LOVE their smell!

      • April 11, 2015 at 6:52 am

        Hey Pomai,

        I think the logic goes that there are hibiscus native to Hawai’i Nei and plumeria are from the Caribbean and Central America. There are mele about hibiscus and it was a not associated with graveyards, like plumeria are. Some hibiscus relatives, like ‘ilima, make beautiful lei. You can make hibiscus lei, but they are really fragile and don’t last long.

        Gardenia and pakalana are great lei flowers. I bet your Mom’s garden is full of great lei material.


  • November 3, 2015 at 11:00 am

    My husband and I were driving out of nowhere I thought about this fruit and I googled it right away. I used to eat this qhen I was really young with my cousin in Philippines. We plucked a lot of it from my aunts backyard and I remember her climbing the tree of this fruit just to get some riped ones for me:) I love this Chesa fruit!


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