While the tropical fruit known as the mango may not be a common staple in many of our refrigerators, on many islands it is indeed the queen of fruits. This delectable fruit reddish on the outside and yellow on the inside can be sweet and succulent, wonderful to eat all by itself or combine with other ingredients.
While the mango is not native to North America, most well-stocked supermarket produce aisles boast at least a few mangos, regardless of the season. However, many individuals avoid them because they’re uncertain about the taste and other specifics of this tropical fruit.
About the Mango
Unlike North Americans, those in other parts of the world have been enjoying the mango for centuries upon centuries. The mango is native to Asia, eastern India, Burma and the Andaman Islands. It is believed that Buddhist monks brought the mango to Malaysia and eastern Asia in the 5th century BC.
As the centuries waned, the trees that produce the mango were planted throughout the tropics and sub-tropics, with botanists eventually recognizing the fact that this is where the trees would grow best.
Mango trees are of the evergreen variety and can grow up to 60-feet-tall. Once the tree is planted, it will begin to produce fruit in 4 to 5 years. A good crop requires long periods of hot, dry weather.
Thanks to the miracle of botany, there are now more than 1,000 different varieties of mangos growing throughout the world and the fruit has become a favorite of those living in a variety of climates, including those countries in which mangos would never grow.
In the United States and Canada, most mangos are imported from Mexico, South America, Haiti, and other islands of the Caribbean.
Choosing a good mango that will be sweet and pleasant to eat is really not a difficult task once you know what to look for in the perfect mango.
An unripe mango is green in color and should still be hanging on the tree. However, the mangos you find in the store could be any combination of light green, red, orange, and yellow, depending on the particular variety of mango being sold. That makes it difficult to determine eat-ability merely be looking at the mango.
Smell and softness is a better indication of whether or not a mango will be a good one. Not unlike a peach, the ideal mango should be slightly soft to the touch but not squishy. It should yield to gentle pressure but you should not be able to view finger indentations in the fruit often you’ve squeezed it. That would mean that it was over-ripe.
After you’ve determined the texture of the mango, bring the stem end up to your nose and take a whiff. Unlike some other fruits, you should be able to smell the mango’s wonderful fruity aroma when you sniff it. If you can’t, move on to the next mango.
If you do wind up with a slightly unripe mango, leave it out on the kitchen counter or for even quicker ripening place it in a paper bag at room temperature overnight. Refrigerate and then eat it within a day or two.
Storing a Mango
Mangos should not be refrigerated at all during the ripening process, but a fully ripened mango can be placed in the fruit drawer of your fridge for up to a week. Experts say the ideal temperature for storing a mango is 55 degrees Fahrenheit (about 13 degrees Celsius).
Preparing the Mango
Those unfamiliar with the mango may not know how to prepare it for consumption. Do you peel it? How do you slice it?
it’s really very easy to handle a mango. it’s best to cut off each end first and then peel the mango from top to bottom along its curvature. Once peeled, the mango can be cut into several slices lengthwise along the pit.
Mangos can also be cubed for a delightful and colorful addition to fruit salad.
Mangos are quite low in calories about 70 calories per average-sized mango yet high in fiber. Many islanders eat a mango a day and rarely experience irregularity. The fruit is also high in anti-oxidants, Vitamins C, A, and potassium. In addition, mangos contain an enzyme that aids in digestion and can be eaten in small portions to soothe a stomach ache.