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Spondias dulcis, ambarella, (and its alternative binomial, Spondias cytherea, Malay apple), or golden apple, is an equatorial or tropical tree, with edible fruit containing a fibrous pit. It is known by many names in various regions, including pomme cythere in Trinidad and Tobago,[1] June plum in Bermuda and Jamaica,[1] juplon in Costa Rica, jobo indio in Venezuela, caja-manga in Brazil, and quả cóc in Vietnam. Kedondong in Indonesia

Description

This fast-growing tree can reach up to 60 ft (18 m) in its native homeland of Melanesia through Polynesia; however, it usually averages 30 to 40 ft (9–12 m) in other areas. Spondias dulcis has deciduous, pinnate leaves, 8 to 24 in (20-60 cm) in length, composed of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic or obovate-oblong leaflets 2.5 to 4.0 in (6.25-10 cm) long, finely toothed toward the apex.[2] The tree produces small, inconspicuous white flowers in terminal panicles, assorted male, female. Its oval fruits, 2.5 to 3.5 in (6.25–9 cm) long, are long-stalked and are produced in bunches of 12 or more. Over several weeks, the fruit fall to the ground while still green and hard, turning golden-yellow as they ripen. According to Morton (1987), “some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 1 lb (0.45 kg) each”.

Habitat

Native to Melanesia through Polynesia, S. dulcis has been introduced into tropical areas across the world. The species was introduced into Jamaica in 1782, and, among other places, is also cultivated in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and also from Puerto Rico to Trinidad, and eastern Sucre, in Venezuela. Although the United States Department of Agriculture received seeds from Liberia in 1909, S. dulcis has yet to become popular in America.

Uses

Spondias dulcis is most commonly used as a food source. Its fruit may be eaten raw; the flesh is crunchy and a little sour. In Indonesia and Malaysia, S. dulcis is eaten with shrimp paste (a thick, black, salty-sweet sauce, called hayko in Chinese Southern Min dialect). It is an ingredient in rojak, and may also be juiced, which is called “umbra juice” in Malaysia, or balonglong juice in Singapore.

Alternative food uses include cooking the fruit into a preserve, similar in consistency to apple butter, sauce flavoring, soups, and stews.

In Fiji, it is used to make jam.

In Samoa and Tonga it is used to make otai.

In West Java, its young leaves are used as seasoning for pepes.

In Vietnam, it is not considered as a regular “table” fruit, just a snack. It is consumed unripe, like green mangoes, sliced and dipped in a mixture of salt, sugar and fresh chili, or in shrimp paste. Another recipe favored by children is to macerate it in liquid, artificially sweetened licorice extract.

In Jamaica, it is mostly considered a novelty, especially by children. The fruit is peeled and sprinkled with salt. The sourness and saltiness provide amusement. The fruit is also made into a drink sweetened with sugar and spiced with some ginger.

Vernacular names

  • Ambarella -Sinhalese: ඇඹරැල්ලා
  • Ambarella – Dutch
  • Ambazhanga – Malayalam
  • Amra – Bengali
  • Amokana – Hokkien
  • Buah kedondong (Malay)
  • Cajá-manga – Brazilian Portuguese
  • Cóc – Vietnamese
  • Manzana de oro – Dominican Republic (golden apple)
  • Evi – Réunion
  • Fruit Cythère – Mauritius
  • Golden apple – St Lucia
  • Goldpflaume – German
  • Gway – Burmese
  • Hevi – the Philippines
  • Hog plum
  • Jobo indio – Venezuelan Spanish
  • June plum – Jamaica
  • Kedondong – Indonesian
  • Makok farang – Thai
  • Manga zi nsende – Kikongo
  • Mkak (ម្កាក់) – Khmer
  • Mokah – Cambodian
  • Naos – Bislaman
  • Pomarosa – Puerto Rican Spanish
  • Pomcite – Trinidad and Tobago
  • Prune Cythère, pomme Cythère – French,[3]
  • – Samoan and Tongan
  • Wi apple – Hawaiian

 

 

Written on June 13th, 2012 , Forestry Tags:

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