Mangos originated in India where the mango tree plays a sacred role. It is a symbol of love. Many people believe it can grant wishes. Scientists have proven that apple trees are not native to the region where Eve tempted Adam. Most likely, she tempted him with a mango. The mango is the most tempting fruit in the world. More mangos are consumed worldwide than any other fruit!
The mango has been cultivated and revered in its homeland since ancient times. Buddhist monks began taking mangos on voyages to eastern Asia in the 4th and 5th Centuries B.C. The Persians are said to have carried mangos to East Africa about the 10th Century A.D. Mangos were commonly grown in the East Indies before the earliest visits of the Portuguese who introduced them to West Africa in the 16th Century and also to Brazil. After becoming established in Brazil, the mango was carried throughout S. America and to the West Indies. In the early 1800's, mangos reached Mexico and in 1833 they were introduced to Florida where modern commercial varieties were perfected and exported to Mexico, the largest exporter of mangos to the USA during the peak summer season. Mangos are now imported into the USA all year due to growing exports from Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and C. America.
Mangos will remind you of peaches or pineapple, but they are sweeter and more succulent. Mangos can be substituted in any recipe that calls for peaches, papayas, pineapple, melons, or nectarines, to add a sweet tropical flavor.
Figure on one mango per serving. Mangos are ripe when they are soft to the touch and have an enticing aroma at the stem. The skin is not a reliable indicator of ripeness—mangos get their red blush from the sun. Many mangos will get a golden yellow background color when ripe, but some varieties remain entirely green when ripe.
Ripen mangos at room temperature. Once the fruit becomes soft to the touch, enjoy or refrigerate for up to one week. Do not prepare mangos until you are ready to enjoy them.
Did You Know?
- A grove of Mangos was gifted to Buddha for meditation.
- Mango trees can grow to ninety feet, be eighty feet wide and bear fruit for 40 years.
- Mango trees normally bear fruit at 3-5 years, with a maximum production level occurring after 15-20 years.