Mango



The Mango is a tropical fruiting tree from the genus Mangifera, in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent. It is cultivated in many tropical regions and distributed widely in the world. The mango is one of the most extensively exploited fruits for food, juice, flavor, fragrance and color, making it a common ingredient in new functional foods often called superfruits. Its leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings and religious ceremonies. It is also the national fruit of India, Pakistan & the Philippines.

The word mango comes from the Portuguese manga, which is probably derived from the Malayalam. The word was first recorded in a European language in a text by Ludovico di Varthema in Italian in 1510 as Manga. The first recorded occurrences in languages such as French and post-classical Latin appear to be translations from this Italian text. The origin of the -o ending in English is unclear.

Mango trees can reach a height of 35-40 meter, with a crown radius of 10 meters. The tree is long-lived with some specimens known to be over 300 years old and still fruiting. In deep soil the taproot descends to a depth of 20 feet, and the profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots also send down many anchor roots which penetrate for several feet. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15-35 cm long and 6-16 cm broad; when the leaves are 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 odor suggestive of lily of the valley. The fruit takes from three to six months to ripen.

The ripe fruit is variable in size and color, and may be yellow, orange, red or green when ripe, depending on the cultivar.When ripe, the unpeeled fruit gives off a distinctive resinous sweet smell. In its center is a single flat oblong seed that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, depending on the cultivar. Inside the seed coat 1-2 mm thick is a thin lining covering a single embryo, 4-7 cm long, 3-4 cm wide, and 1 cm thick.

A ripe mango is sweet, with a unique taste that nevertheless varies from variety to variety. The texture of the flesh varies between cultivars, some having a soft, pulpy texture similar to an over-ripe plum, while others have firmer flesh like a cantaloupe or avocado. In some cultivars, the flesh has a fibrous texture. Chutney is usually made with sour, unripe mangoes and hot chilis or limes. In western recipes, however, ripe mangoes are often used. In the south Indian state of Andhra pradesh, almost every family prepares mango pickles during the red hot summer season. In India, ripe mangoes are often cut into thin layers, desiccated, folded, and then cut. These bars, known as aampapdi,' amavat or halva in Hindi, are similar to dried guava fruit bars available in Colombia. In many parts of India, people eat squeezed mango juice (called ras) on a variety of bread. This is part of the meal rather than a dessert. Unripe mangoes (which are extremely sour) are eaten with salt, and in regions where food is hotter, with salt and chili.

In Kerala, ripe mangoes are used in a dish called mambazha kaalan. In Maharashtra, moramba (a kind of preserve, made from jaggery and mango) and aamrus (Pulp/Thick Juice made of mangoes, with a bit of sugar if needed and milk at times) are famous. A spicy, sweet and sour semi-liquid side-dish called meth-amba is made from unripe mango slices called kairi, jaggery and fenugreek seeds. They can be enjoyed with poories and polies, like jam. In India mango is used as pickle (aachar), amawat, murraba, amchur, sukhawata & chatni or chutney. During the hot summer months, a cooling summer drink called panha (in Marathi) and panna (across north India) is made with raw mango. Mango lassi is made by adding mango pulp to the North Indian yoghurt drink lassi. The fruit is also used in a variety of cereal products, in particular muesli and oat granola. Dried and powdered unripe mango is known as amchur (sometimes spelled amchoor) in India and ambi in Urdu. Amb is a Sindhi, aamba a Marathi, and aam a Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and Bengali word for 'mango'.

In the Philippines, unripe mango is eaten with bagoong. Dried strips of sweet, ripe mango are also popular, with those from Cebu exported worldwide. Guimaras produces a delicious mango. Freshly harvested mangoes and bananas at a fruit stand on the island of Maui, Hawaii. In Mexico, mango is used to make juices, smoothies, ice cream, fruit bars, raspados, aguas frescas, pies and sweet chili sauce, or mixed with chamoy, a sweet and spicy chili paste. It is popular on a stick dipped in hot chili powder and salt or also as a main ingredient in fresh fruit combinations.

Pieces of mango can be mashed and used as a topping on ice cream or blended with milk and ice as milkshakes. In Thailand and other South East Asian countries, sweet glutinous rice is flavored with coconut then served with sliced mango as a dessert. In other parts of South-east Asia, mangoes are pickled with fish sauce and rice vinegar. Green mangoes can be used in mango salad with fish sauce and dried schrimps. In Taiwan, mango is a topping that can be added to shaved ice along with condensed milk. The sweet bell pepper (capsicum) was once known as mango in parts of the United States.

In Costa Rica and Guatemala, mango is either eaten green with salt, or ripe in various forms. Only in Costa Rica, ripe mangoes are called manga to differentiate them. In Guatemala, toasted and ground pumpkin seed (called Pepita) with lime and salt are the norm when eating green mangoes.

MangoMango
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mango_2008-3-1.JPG
authorshipHedwig Storch
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MangoMango
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mangga_manalagi_071010-0484_jtg.jpg
authorshipW.A. Djatmiko
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Mango on treeMango on tree
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mangues.JPG
authorshipPaquereau
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MangoMango
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mangga_gedong_gincu_071019-0833_tmo.jpg
authorshipW.A. Djatmiko
photo licensing

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