Wikipedia Article About Mango on Wikipedia
The mango (Mangifera spp.; Hindi: आम; plural mangos or mangoes) is a genus of about 35 species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae, native to India and Southeast Asia, of which the Indian Mango M. indica is by far the most important commercially. Reference to mangos as the "food of the gods" can be found in the Hindu Vedas. The name of the fruit comes from the Malayalam word manga, and popularised by the Portuguese after their Indian exploration, hence the word 'manga' in Portuguese .
Mangos are large trees, reaching 35-40 m in height, with a crown radius of 10 m. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15-35 cm long and 6-16 cm broad; when young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark glossy red, then dark green as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10-40 cm long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5-10 mm long, with a mild sweet odour suggestive of lily of the valley. After the flowers finish, the fruit takes from three to six months to ripen.
The mango fruit is a drupe; when mature, it hangs from the tree on long stems. They are variable in size, from 10-25 cm long and 7-12 cm diameter, and may weigh up to 2.5 kg. The ripe fruit is variably coloured yellow, orange and red, reddest on the side facing the sun and yellow where shaded; green usually indicates that the fruit is not yet ripe, but this depends on the cultivar. When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous slightly sweet smell. In the center of the fruit is a single flat, oblong stone that can be fibrous or hairless on the surface, depending on cultivar. Inside the shell, which is 1-2 mm thick, is a paper-thin lining covering a single seed, 4-7 cm long, 3-4 cm wide, 1 cm thick.
Most Americans consider the mango an exotic fruit with the taste of peach and pineapple. Although popular in tropical areas, mango actually originated in Southeast Asia or India where it has been grown more than 4,000 years. Over the years mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, where the climate allows the mango to grow best. Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall. The mango tree will fruit 4 to 6 years after planting. Mango trees require hot, dry periods to set and produce a good crop. Most of the mangos sold in the United States are imported from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America.
Today there more than 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world. Mangos come in different shapes, sizes and coloring depending on the ripeness. The colors range from yellow to green to orange or red. They weigh as little as a few ounces up to a few pounds. All varieties have a very rich tropical flavor when ripe.
Choose firm plump mangos that give slightly when pressure is applied. Avoid those with bruised or dry and shriveled skin. The ripeness of mangos can be determined by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma emitting from the stem end. Mangos can be considered ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yield to gentle pressure. The best-flavored fruit have a yellow tinge when ripe; however, color may be red, yellow, orange, green, or any combination.
Store mangos at room temperature and out of the sun, until ripened. The ideal storage temperature for mangos is 55 degrees F. When stored properly a mango should have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks. While the mango will not ripen in the refrigerator, it can be kept chilled there once ripe. Store cut mangos in a plastic bag for no more than 3 days.
Cutting Know How
- With a sharp thin-bladed knife, cut off both ends of the fruit.
- Place fruit on flat end and cut away peel from top to bottom along curvature of the fruit.
- Cut fruit into slices by carving lengthwise along the pit
- Fruit & Vegetable of the Month: Mango by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, public domain government resource—original source of article