DM

London

What do you get when you cross a mango and a plum? The answer is the latest tropical fruit to go on sale in the UK, nicknamed the ‘plango’.

Marks & Spencer is stocking the Bouea macrophylla - or mango plum - after years of work with specialist growers in Thailand.

The fruit has a bright orange edible skin, which is firmer than a plum, and a sweet taste similar to an Alphonso mango but with a softer texture. M&S fruit expert Shazad Rehman said: ‘We know our customers like to try new and interesting fruit and we’re sure this will be something they will really enjoy. ‘It has a soft texture and all the delicious flavour of a mango without any of the hassle to prepare as you can eat the skin.’

The fruit, smaller than a mango, will be on shelves this weekend. It’s not the only unusual hybrid on the market.

The Meyer lemon is a naturally occurring cross between a lemon and a mandarin. The first sweet lemon to be sold commercially in this country can be eaten much like an orange, but it is best used in thin slices - peel, pith and all.

The fruit, native to China, was discovered growing by Frank Meyer, an employee of the US Department of Agriculture who was exploring the country at the turn of the last century. The skin is fragrant and thin, while the flesh is a dark yellow and contains up to ten seeds. Other fruits include the Nectacotum, which is part nectarine, apricot and plum, while the boysenberry is a mixture of the blackberry, raspberry and loganberry.