Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thai Mango or "Ma Muang"



Peak season: April to June



All Thai mangoes are sweet, juicy, and fragrant, when ripe. However the "Nam Dawk Mai" and "Ok Long" variety are best known. They are the favourite choices as dessert fruit or as "Mango and Sticky (glutinous) Rice", a popular dessert during the peak of the mango season in the summer.

"Ma-muang Keow Savoey" and "Ma-muang Rat" are also delicious as ripe mango but Thais prefer to enjoy both of these as raw mango served with a dry salt-and-sugar dip seasoned with crushed chilli called prik kab kleua or a savoury chilli dip prepared by blending palm sugar with fish sauce heated to a caramel-like consistency called nam pla wan.

Green Keow Savoey is sweet and has a powdery texture, while Ma-muang Rat is predominantly sour with a hint of sweet.

Raw mangoes add a more delicate sour flavour to dishes and are featured in Thai salads such as Yam Ma-muang and in chilli dips.

Thai mangoes come in many other preserved forms such as delicious mango ice-cream, or pickled mango - Ma-muang Dong, Ma-muang Chae-Im or dried mango, and Ma-muang Kuan.

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-coloured, delicately flavoured 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 neighbouring 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.
All Thai mangoes are sweet, juicy, and fragrant, when ripe. However the "Nam Dok Mai" and "Ok Rong" variety are best known. They are the favourite choices as dessert fruit or as "Mango and Sticky (glutinous) Rice", a popular dessert during the peak of the mango season in the summer.
"Ma-Muang Keaw Sa-Woi" and "Ma-muang Rat" are also delicious as ripe mango but Thais prefer to enjoy both of these as raw mango served with a dry salt-and-sugar dip seasoned with crushed chilli called Prik Kab Gleua or a savoury chilli dip prepared by blending palm sugar with fish sauce heated to a caramel-like consistency called nam pla wan.
Green Keaw Sa-Woi is sweet and has a powdery texture, while Ma-Muang Raat is predominantly sour with a hint of sweet.
Raw mangoes add a more delicate sour flavour to dishes and are featured in Thai salads such as Yam Ma-Muang and in chilli dips.
Thai mangoes come in many other preserved forms such as delicious mango ice-cream, or pickled mango - Ma-Muang Dong, Ma-muang Chae-Im or dried mango, and Ma-Muang Kuan.


Mangos are a major fruit crop in Sakhon Nakhon province in Northern Thailand, Yasothon, Si Sa Ket and Chaiyaphum in Northeastern Thailand, Ratchaburi and Chon Buri in Central Thailand, and Prachin Buri in Eastern Thailand.


1 comment:

Asian Sweetheart said...

Actually, many types of Thai mangoes are quite bad if eaten ripe. They are eaten while they are still slightly green and crispy (dip), like khiaw sawoey, khiaw yai thaway, fah lan and at least another 3 or 4 varieties. They are all very popular.