The cultivation of my favorite fruit started some 5,000 years ago in India, where it is a symbol of love and friendship. Its name comes from the Dravidian language, later adapted by the Portuguese into mango and then into mango by the Italians sometime in the 16th century.
The first mango imports to the Americas came in the 17th century as pickle, since there was no way to preserve this delicate fruit.
There are a large number of cultivars on a variety of trees but the original variety grows on very large trees that can live and bear fruit for 300 years.
In addition to enjoying eating the fruit as is there are an infinite variety of ways to prepare mango dishes (see my recipes below).
The mango is very high in vitamin C as well as containing various other vitamins and minerals.
In the West Indies “to go mango walk” is to steal another person’s mangoes. This however is a somewhat moot point, as mango trees are everywhere, some around abandoned properties, some growing wild or mangoes that fall off trees into the road, picked by people before the animals (dogs love mangoes as do bats and birds) get them.
Here are two links for more detailed information:
THREE OF MY FAVORITE MANGO RECIPES
MANGO/AVOCADO/BANANA/COCONUT WATER SMOOTHIE
This is an ideal quick nutritious breakfast or a great dessert.
- For each glass of smoothie, use ½ ripe mango peeled and cut into small chunks (it has to feel soft to the touch), ½ a small or ¼ of a large ripe avocado, scooped out into small chunks, ½ of a ripe banana, ½ a glass of coconut water (if coconut water, usually sold in Spanish grocery stores or if lucky even regular supermarkets, is not available, milk can be substituted. Throw ingredients into blender and blend on medium to high speed until creamy smooth.
Ripe mango cut peeled and cut into chunks, butter milk or plain yogurt. The quantities will vary depending on the # or people to be served and the combination of the 2 ingredients will depend on individual tastes. I like ½ mango ½ buttermilk or yogurt.
RICE WITH MANGO
- Cook your rice the usual way. When done, add some butter (quantity depends on the quantity of cooked rice, but enough so the kernels are lightly coated)
- Chop up semi ripe mangoes into small squares. The mango should be ripe enough to allow peeling and removing the flesh easily but not soft)
- Add chopped up mangoes to rice.
This is especially good with chicken or fish dishes.
A word about peeling mangoes: take the mango, cut from the narrowest part, down one side along the seed, turn over, do the same on the other side, now cut along the outside to remove the last of the flesh. This takes practice, so buy enough mangoes to allow you to practice.