Mango

Mango

Plural:
Mangos or Mangoes
Family:
Anacardiaceae – Sumac family
Species:
Mangifera indica

Origin

The Mango was cultivated at least 4000 years ago in India. About 400 years before Christ's birth, the fruit was domesticated throughout Asia in the 10th century: from the Malay Archipelago to Southern China and East Asia. Beyond Asia it spread in two stages: At first, the Arabs or the Persians brought them to East Africa in the 10th Century A.D, then with the help of the Portugese, it made its way to Europe, West Africa and South America in the 16th Century.

Plant

Mangos are drupes, like peaches or plums and are related to pistachios and cashew nuts. The evergreen trees are said to become huge: up to 40 m in height with roots that are about about 7 m long and a crowns that are about 10 m in diameter. In plantations they are testricted to a height from 10 to 20 m high.

Cultivation

Mangos grow in all tropical to semitropical climate zones. Fruits are offered from cultivations as well as uncontrolled growth.

Importations

They are imported all year round from Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Florida, Mexico, Central America and South America, the West Indies, Israel, Africa, the Philippines and Hawaii.

Fruit

Edible:
The flesh.
Inedible:
The skin and seeds.
Odour:
It is typical for mangos and, depending on the stage of maturity, it can be very intense.
Flavour:
They are sweet and at the same time acidically-sourish as well as being rather dull, very aromatic and some varieties can also be resinous or like turpentine.
Size:
From the size of a plum to a melon.
Weight:
Depending on the variety, they can weigh from 100 g to 2 kg; in this country fruits that weigh between 200 and 600 g are available.
Shape:
They can be heart shaped to ovoid or reniform, it depends on the variety.
Bowl:
It is smooth and soft much like buckskin and is often monochrome or multicoloured from green to yellow to orange and red
Flesh:
It is orange or luscious yellow, extremely juicy and soft-delicate; depending on the variety, it can be with or without fibres, very firmly or only loosely linked with the oval and platy core; jelly-like flesh all around the core may be an indication for a tree-matured fruit or for an overripe fruit.
Ripeness:
the fruits smell strong and feel similar to a ripe banana. Thick-skinned mangos feel soft, but thin-skinned, on the other hand should be wrinkled; brown or black spots on the skin point to advanced maturity.
Overripe fruits:
They taste discustingly soap-like.
Unripe fruits:
They are hard with no taste.

Usage

They may be eaten raw, put in sweet salads and cubed in punches. Also, mashed as cream, sorbet and drink, or stewed as a compote or preserved for jam.

Storage

They should not be put in the fridge and must be kept apart from other fruits or vegetables. Ripe mangos segregate ethylene! Mature and whole fruits should be put in a chilled space for about 2 days. Sliced fruits, covered or wrapped up in plastic film, can be stored for one day in the fridge. Post-maturation: at room temperature.

Tip

They say that one should not drink in combination with mangos because the liquid can cause stomach troubles, no matter if it is milk, water or alcohol. It is said that this is necessary for up to two hours after the consumption of the fresh or canned product. However, the reason for this is unknown.