A species of flowering plant related to the Moraceae family is called Artocarpus odoratissimus. It is often referred to as marang, madang, timadang, terap, tarap, kiran, green pedalai, or johey oak. These tropical fruit called marang, is common throughout the Philippines but is particularly abundant in Palawan, Mindanao, and parts of Borneo.
Have you ever eaten this fruit?
Its huge, green, spiny skin is about the size of a football and it has similarities to the Jack fruit. There are several seeds with white yellow flesh coverings inside. The flesh (but not the seed) can be eaten with a fork or, if you don't mind getting a little sticky, by hand.
On the outside, it resembles a hedgehog that has dried out and been left by the side of the road. My father has an opportunity to grow several marang fruit trees on our backyard. Its leaves are huge and the branches are very sturdy. Like the breadfruit, the tree is not tolerant of the cold. Seeds can be used to grow marang. It will only take five years before it will bear its fruit.
Before it is overripe, the fruit does not fall to the ground. When fully grown but still firm, it can be picked and let to ripen till soft. When ripe, fruits turn a greenish yellow color to light brown.
Marang has a pungent smell in the same way as durian does, in contrast to its more well-known Artocarpus genus cousins, breadfruit and jackfruit. The smell is rather chemical-like, but don't be bothered by it because the sticky white flesh inside tastes like several fruit flavors come together , including softened pears, berries, banana, jackfruit, and pineapple.
The fun doesn't end once you finish one of these big fruits; the seeds can be boiled or roasted as a snack and have a flavor that falls somewhere between potatoes and chestnuts.
The marang is not for everyone though but a wonderful balance for individuals who enjoy jackfruit but aren't quite ready to try a durian yet.
The flesh has a distinct custard flavor and tastes great both chilled and at room temperature. It's also a terrific fruit for breakfast.
Marang only grows from July to September. Farmers have been harvesting them earlier recently, which has led to lower crops and smaller Marang. Marang may cost as little as 100 pesos per Kilo in the countryside but as much as 200 pesos per Kilo in Manila.
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