Strange Fruit: Spikey and Red, the Mamon Japones   1 comment

Mamon Japones - Rambutan

There are words you learn in a second language you literally do not know the name for in your own because you never encountered that “thing” in your mother tongue.

I thought it was a lychee, but apparently its a close relative called a Rambutan.

Mamon ( Mamones – plural ) is the Salvadoran word for a tropical fruit I never ate or remember seeing back home.   The ones I’m eating now are golfball size, and I’ve never seen them any bigger than that.  Lisa Dang’s post shows Rambutan’s a lot bigger, though.

The skin of this exotic fruit comes off by breaking it with your finger or using a knife if its stubborn. I think they are not quite ripe if the skin is tough; the flavor is more sour on those whose skin breaks easier.  The flesh is a white cream color, and it tastes both sweet and sour.   This pic from last year in October shows them at 5  cents a piece, and yesterday I got 20 in the market downtown for 50 cents, a full year later.

Prices of fruits and vegetables vary in the market, as well as for maize and beans, depending on if they are in/out of season and how well the crop turned out, so they can down just as soon as up. Funny thing, I’ve never seen a Supermarket drop the prices of fruits or grains.  Hmmm….

Courtesty of Wikipedia - click for page / link

Another Mamon fruit worth mentioning is the Mamon Verde (Mamones verdes) .  In El Salvador, the word Mamon is used for two different fruits – the Mamon Japones [Japonese style Rambutin] depicted above, and here on the left, which is the Mamon verde (green) [ known to us as a  Spanish lime, or mamoncillo].

 

This Mamon has a smooth shiny green skin, and its flesh is a peachy color instead of whitish with the red spiky one.  The green Mamon is quite sour and makes you pucker up.   I have been walking in the country with people and we picked and ate them, but was never lucky enough to pick the spiky cousin in the wild before.

One response to “Strange Fruit: Spikey and Red, the Mamon Japones

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  1. Thanks for this. Vendors pass my house all the time trying to sell me these and I’ve steered clear because I had no idea what it was. Next time I’ll give it a try. I have had the green ones though, like you, picked in the wild. They are delicious but have a strange texture.

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