The typhoon that has been battering parts of Asia in the past week is named Mangkhut. What does the name mean, and why did the Philippines call the storm Ompong instead?
“Mangkhut” is Thai for mangosteen, a reddish-purple fruit native to Southeast Asia, pictured above. The longtime New York Times journalist and food writer R.W. Apple Jr. once wrote that he would “rather eat one than a hot fudge sundae.”
“Words can no more describe how mangosteens taste than explain why I love my wife and children,” he wrote in 2003.
The mangosteen, which has a hard shell with white flesh inside, is cheap and plentiful in Asia but rarer and more expensive in the West, where it is nonetheless growing in popularity.
The task of naming typhoons falls to the Japan