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Maprang mangoes are an attractive diminutive fruit that are about the size and shape of an egg. They grow to 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter, and up to 6 centimeters in length. The outer skin is a light green in color, deepening to a neon-like orange-yellow apricot hue when the fruit is mature. When cut open, the fruit releases a mango-like fragrance with a hint of turpentine. The inner flesh is a bright orange. It is jelly-like and soft, and slightly fibrous. After the initial crisp bite, it bursts into the soft consistency of the aqueous flesh. Each fruit bears a large, edible but bitter seed that is a bright pink to purple in color. Depending on the variety, the flesh can be sour, sweet, or a mixture of sweet-tart flavors.
Maprang has varying availability in select regions of Southeast Asia with a peak season in the late spring through summer.
Maprang mangoes are botanically classified as Bouea macrophylla. They are also known as Gandaria, Marian plums, and Plum mangoes. Because of their shape and coloring, they are often mistaken for loquats. In 2015 in Britain, they were sold as "plangoes", and were incorrectly assumed to be a cross between a plum and a mango. There are multiple varieties of Maprang that vary in levels of sweetness, sourness, and acidity, and these small fruits are favored in Asia for their versatility in both raw and cooked applications.
Maprang is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene. The fruit also contains some calcium, iron, and phosphorous.
Mature Maprang mangoes are eaten fresh out of hand. The skin may be removed, but it is acceptable, and easier, to eat the fruit with the skin. It is difficult to separate the seed from the flesh, and for this reason the fruit are seldom cut. The green, immature fruit that is quite sour may also be eaten raw with a mixture of salt, sugar and pepper. They are also used in fruit salads known as rojak, and as a souring agent in cooked dishes like curries, where they are seen as a substitute for tamarind and sour lime. Maprang mangoes are used in pickles, compotes, and sambals. Store Maprang mangoes in a loose bag in the refrigerator, where they will be good for up to 2 weeks.
In parts of Asia, the timber of the evergreen tree that produces the fruit is also used for construction. In Indonesia, the wood is used to make scabbards for the traditional dagger, known as the kris. In Thailand, Maprang has grown increasingly popular among both locals and tourists. This increased demand has boosted the amount of Maprang sold at fresh markets and is encouraging small farms to grow the fruit instead of relying on harvests from the wild trees. The Thai government is also encouraging farms to begin cultivating the fruit to export to countries such as the United Kingdom.
The exact origin of Maprang mangoes is unknown. However, they are native to Southeast Asia, where they have been found in the wild since ancient times. Today the fruit is still predominately harvested from tropical forests, but it is also grown in home gardens and is cultivated on a small scale in Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, and Malaysia. Once harvested, Maprang is available at fresh markets in Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Western Java, Laos, the Philippines, Borneo, and Thailand.