Mango fruits are one of the most popular in the world. They are the succulent, aromatic fruits of an evergreen tree. It’s scientific referred to as Mangifera indica and is a member of the cashew family (Anacardiaceae) of flowering plants.
This category of fruits is not only a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber, they also signify different things culturally. For instance, in India, a mango is a symbol of love. A basket of mangoes is a gesture of friendship in the country.
Love your Mango? Here are some more mango facts to help you know what you enjoy eating;
Mangos were first grown in India over 5,000 years ago and the seeds travelled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D.
Mangoes are related to cashews and pistachios. Their trees can grow up to 100 feet with a canopy of over 35 feet and can still bear fruit after 300 years! It takes about 4 to 6 years for a tree to bear fruit and the trees are harvested once a year. Farmers say it takes about 4 months for the fruit to mature and each one is harvested by hand.
Their flowers are pollinated by insects, although less than one percent of the flowers will mature.
A ripe mango is known to be 14 per cent sugar by weight and 0.5 per cent acid by weight, with a sugar acid ratio of 28. A firm fruit will ripen at room temperature within a few days.
The Mango bark, leaves, skin, flesh, and the pit have been used as common household remedies for centuries.
Statistics show that India is the largest producer of the fruit, followed by China, Thailand and Africa. Majority of the mangoes sold in the United States come from Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, and Haiti.
How do you enjoy this beautiful fruit?
Although it is sometimes messy, it is fun especially for kids. It makes it easy for them to enjoy the fruit without having to go through the throes of peeling the flesh. Here’s how to get this done -Take a ripe mango that’s slightly soft. Put enough pressure to mash the mango’s insides but not so much that you break the skin, start squeezing and rolling the mango until it feels like the flesh inside is broken down and pasty. Have someone cut off the tip of the mango with a scissors or knife and then suck out the pulp and juice. It’s like drinking a mango smoothie with nothing but pure mango flavour.
Adults should note that this is a fun way to get kids to eat their important fruit servings. If you’re concerned about your kids having a reaction, peel back the skin where they will drink the juice. Most people who are allergic to mango skin can still enjoy the yummy mango flesh.
Put a mango cube or two on a toothpick, dip in yogurt and enjoy!
Puree freshly cut the mango in a blender or food processor. Pour into ice cube trays, stick in a popsicle stick or toothpick and freeze.
Mango Breakfast Smoothie:
Make a yummy smoothie by mixing mango flesh with low-fat yogurt and ice cubes in a blender.
Mango Roll Ups:
Slice mango into thin strips and roll up with a slice of deli meat, such as ham or turkey.
Add some colour to your plate with fresh, bright yellow/orange mango. Drizzle mango puree over grilled or sautéed chicken, pork or fish. You can also toss mango chunks into a fruit salad or a green salad.
Mix chopped mango with vanilla frozen yoghurt. Scoop into a ball, top with mango puree, and garnish with mango chunks skewered on toothpicks.
Go ahead! Enjoy that succulent fruit while the season lasts.
Do you have a unique mango recipe? Do share with us in the comment section.