Mắc trai mango – the egg mango
Mắc trai mango is a semi-wild mango species with very small round fruits, occurring in several mountainous provinces in northwestern Vietnam, especially in Sơn La province. Its fruit size is just as small as a chicken egg, so technically it can be labeled as “egg mango”. This is also the smallest mango in Vietnam.
Actually, in Sơn La province, there are about 5-6 local mango species that are also small and round, and the nickname “egg mango” is used for another species.
The scientific name of Mắc trai mango is not consistent. It was previously identified as Mangifera longipes, but M. longipes is nơ considered as M. laurina. However, the fruit of M. laurina is rather oblong and bigger. Some sources say it’s M. langenifela, but without information and graphical images to compare and the name is known nowhere.
- Family: Anacardiaceae
- Genus: Mangifera
- Vietnamese name: mắc trai, mác trai, mắc chai, móc chai
Mắc trai mango is less sweet and much sourer than a common mango, but its aroma is richer. Since the fruit is too small, the plant is not commercially cultivated. The fruits are collected in the wild forests and can be eaten as is, or can be used as an ingredient to make a local gelatin-like mango cake.
Ripe but not rotten fruits are collected, rinsed, peeled, and he get cooked in in a large pot until the mango is soft. Use a strainer to filter the seeds, lumps, or skins. Cook the mango flesh juice until it’s thick then pour in flat molds, or just a flat stray. The mango paste are sun-dried for 1-2 days. The texture should be chewy, rather than crispy.
The mango gelatin is served by being slightly steamed or roasted.