I only started commonly seeing these berry-like fruits this year. They seem to be growing in popularity up here in Issan, but I suspect they were brought here from another part of Thailand, where they are apparently have shorter names: Nam daeng and nam phrong.
They are apparently used in India for pickles.
I had started calling these Lao Cherries, but there are a couple other fruits already called that (plus they don’t seem to be from this area), so I finally just looked it up.
So the important thing: Do they taste good?
They taste like vitamin C punched you in the throat. Like the sourest mango and unripe lemon (hence the name? Mamuang = mango; Manao = lemon/lime) in the world are frolicking on your tongue. So naturally, Thais eat them dipped in chili sugar and stupid farang stuff three in their mouth at a time to see if it can be done in a sort of personal stupidity challenge.
So wikicheatia has a long paragraph on names for this fruit which, in the spirit of university plagiarism, I will only only slighty modify before pasting here:
maha karamba (Sinhala)
kerenda (in Malaya)
Bengal currant (South India)
Christ’s thorn (South India)
nam phrom (Thailand)
Karja tenga (Assam)
4 thoughts on “Bengal Currants (carissa carandas)”
The name “Bengal currant” signifies the name of the fruit form Bengal hence, relevant to the language Bengali.
In the last entry on the list of names of this fruit, you have mentioned “Koromcha”. Koromcha is the name of the fruit in Bengali and the fruit mostlikely originates in Bengal, eastern part in India.
Interesting. Thank you!
These grow near my house. When red, pick them, cut them in half, soak in water for ten minutes.
If you do that they taste more like a sour apple and I/you can eat them without chilli or sugar.
I’m gonna try that next time, thanks!