August 23, 2021 11:31:00
Aug 26, 2021, 10:54 a.m.
Mango: A fleshy, oval tropical fruit with yellowish-red skin and a hard core in the middle, which is eaten ripe or used green in pickles and chutneys, according to a BBC report.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties of fruit that never appear on our supermarket shelves. Here are more facts about the wonderful mango-
1. Mangoes are as diverse as apples or plums
There are hundreds and hundreds of varieties of mangoes, regional and distinct. Some creamy and sweet, some lemony, some a bit tangy, some like pineapple and some – often found in our supermarkets – just a little bland. It is worth looking for the sweeter varieties if you can: give the Alphonso an essay, according to the BBC report.
2. It is the national fruit not of one but of three countries
Mango is the national fruit of Pakistan, India and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh, according to the report.
3. The name “mango” originates from India
English name mango is probably derived from the Tamil word Hello or word Keralan manga. When Portuguese traders settled in southern India, they adopted the name of manga, according to the BBC.
It was when the British traded with South India in the 15th and 16th centuries that the word the mango was born.
4. More than 43 million tonnes of mangoes are produced in the world
Almost all are Tommy atkins mangoes – a variety that grows quickly, has a large size and color, is resistant to many types of fungi, does not die easily and will last on supermarket shelves for a long time. All of these characteristics make it ripe for export all over the world, according to the report. Unfortunately, it’s also stringy and relatively tasteless.
5. UK mangoes come from all over the world
British supermarkets source mangoes from all over the world: in Peru at the start of the year, then in West Africa, followed by Israel and Egypt in the third quarter, then Brazil, reports the BBC.
6. India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes
The South Asian country produces more than 18 million tonnes of fruit, mainly for domestic consumption.
7. Mangoes were first cultivated in India over 5,000 years ago.
The wild mango is believed to originate from the Himalayan foothills of India and Myanmar. The first known cultivation of the fruit took place around 5,000 years ago in southern India, Myanmar and the Andaman Islands (an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal), according to the report.
8. The oldest mango tree has been around for centuries
The oldest living mango tree is believed to be 300 years and is located in East Khandesh in central India, according to the BBC report. Surprisingly, the ancient plant still produces fruit!
9. Mangoes were introduced to America at the beginning of the 20th century
David Fairchild was an agricultural explorer for the US government in the early 20th century who was in India when he discovered the mango. Legend has it that he tried to ship a thousand mangoes back to his homeland, but the boat’s captain said they were too heavy. He solved this problem by hiring a group of local children to eat all the fruit, in just a few minutes, leaving only the pits for transport. Some of the earliest Fairchild varieties are still growing in South Florida today, according to the BBC.
10. The heaviest mango in the world was longer than a ruler
According to Guinness World Records, the heaviest mango on record weighed 3.435 kg and measured 12 inches in length, 49.53 inches in circumference and 17.78 inches in width. The whopper was harvested from a tree in Sergio and Maria Socorro Bodiongan’s front garden in the Philippines in 2009.
11. Mangoes are related to cashews and pistachios
A mango is a drupe: a fleshy fruit with a thin skin and a large, concise central core called a endocarp which contains the seed of the fruit. Olives, dates and cherries are drupes and, nutty as it sounds, cashews and pistachios also come from drupes, making them distant cousins of mango, according to the report from the BBC.
12. The mango is a sacred tree for Buddhists
It is said that Buddha meditated and rested with his fellow monks in the peaceful tranquility of the lush mango trees. As a result, the mango tree is considered sacred in the Buddhist faith.
13. Mangoes are mostly good for you
One cup of mango contains about 60 mg of vitamin C. The NHS website recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 need 40 mg of vitamin C per day! And the health benefits don’t end there, according to the BBC.
Mangoes contain more twenty different vitamins and minerals: they are rich in vitamin A, potassium, folate – and also provide a strong portion of fiber. A feast without guilt!