Mango

Thai Fruit


Thai name: Ma-muang
Season: March to June

Those who know mangos only from the varieties found in places like Hawaii, Mexico or the West Indies may think they have discovered a new fruit in the light-colored, delicately flavored mangos that turn up on Thai markets between March and June. More than a dozen different kinds are grown, many of them hybrids developed in Thailand. They have become so popular among mango connoisseurs in neighboring countries that nearly 3 million kilograms (6.6 million lbs) are exported annually. Thais eat mangos in a number of ways, depending on the variety. Some types are traditionally served at the peak of ripeness, accompanied by a mound of glutinous rice topped with sweetened coconut milk; the light yellow ok rong and the slightly darker nam dok mai are especially good in this way. Other kinds, such as kiao sa woei are more often eaten as a condiment or in salads when the skin is still dark green and the flesh is white. Mangos are also pickled (ma-muang dong), soaked in sugar water (ma-muang chae im) salted and dried (ma-muang khem), or turned into jams and chutneys.

On April 10, 1689, the French general Desfarges led an expedition to re-capture the island of Phuket in an attempt to restore some sort of French control in Siam. The occupation of the island led nowhere, and Desfarges returned to Pondicherry in January 1690.