A Sliced Mango Cubes on Gray Surface

12 Interesting Facts About Mango

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Introduction

The mango is one of the most popular and beloved fruits in the world. Often referred to as the “king of fruits”, mangoes have a sweet, creamy taste that is simply delicious. But beyond being tasty, the mango is a fascinating fruit with a long history and plenty of intriguing facts behind it.

From its ancient origins to its many health benefits, there is a lot more to the mango than meets the eye. Read on to uncover 12 interesting facts about mangoes that you may not have known before.

Interesting Facts About Mango

Interesting Facts About Mango
  1. Mangoes originated in Southeast Asia over 5,000 years ago. The earliest cultivation of mangoes traces back to India and eastern Asia. Writings describing grafting techniques for mangoes date back to 300 A.D. From Asia, mangoes spread to East Africa, South America, and Mexico by Portuguese explorers in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  2. There are over 1,000 different varieties of mangoes. Mangoes come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Some of the most popular varieties include:
    • Haden – Bright red skin, aromatic flavor
    • Ataulfo – Small, yellow, very sweet
    • Francis – Bright yellow, slightly tart
    • Keitt – Large green skin, very sweet flesh
  3. Mangoes are closely related to pistachios and cashews. Mangoes belong to the same family as pistachios, cashews, and poison ivy. Their scientific family name is Anacardiaceae. The mango tree itself can grow quite large, sometimes up to 100 feet tall!
  4. India produces over 40% of the world’s mangoes. As the birthplace of the mango, India remains the largest global producer of mangoes today. Over 18 million tons of mangoes are grown in India each year. Other top mango producers include China, Thailand, Mexico, and Brazil.
  5. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Given its extensive history and cultural importance in certain countries, the mango holds official national symbol status for India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Mangoes are used in traditional dishes, religious ceremonies, and festivals in these nations.
  6. Mango leaves are used in various ceremonies and decorations. In several Asian and Indian cultures, mango leaves are considered auspicious. Mango leaves are often used to decorate doors, welcome guests, or make ceremonial offerings. They are said to signify prosperity and happiness.
  7. Unripe green mangoes are often used to make pickles, chutneys, and spices. While ripe mangoes taste sweet and juicy, unripe raw mangoes have a sour flavor. They are frequently used to produce pickles, chutneys, sauces, spices, and other condiments in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine.
  8. The mango has deep cultural and religious symbolism. Mangoes have special meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism. Lord Buddha was once presented with a mango grove as an offering. And mangoes are said to symbolize love, friendship, and the essence of life in certain Indian myths and folklore.
  9. Mango peel, bark, and leaves have medicinal uses. Mango peel and bark contain compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic properties. The leaves have also traditionally been used to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  10. Mangoes may boost skin and eye health. Mangoes are packed with vitamin A and vitamin C. These antioxidants can help reduce skin damage from the sun, as well as promote eye health and prevent vision loss disorders.
  11. The mango may help manage diabetes. Although more research is still needed, certain compounds in mangoes may help regulate and manage blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.
  12. The word “mango” originated from the Malayalam word “manga”. The word we use to describe this fruit today comes from the Malayalam language spoken in southwestern India. The original word “manga” translates to “fruit” in Malayalam.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mangoes

tray of mango

Where do mangoes originate from?

Mangoes are believed to have originated in southern Asia, particularly in eastern India, Bangladesh, and the Andaman Islands. The mango tree, Mangifera indica, has been cultivated in South and Southeast Asia since ancient times, resulting in various modern mango cultivars.

How are mango cultivars classified?

Mango cultivars are classified into two main types: the “Indian type” and the “Southeast Asian type.” The Indian group is characterized by having monoembryonic fruits, while polyembryonic fruits characterize the Southeast Asian group.

What are some popular mango cultivars?

There are several hundred named mango cultivars worldwide. Some popular ones include the monoembryonic cultivar ‘Alphonso’, often considered “the king of mangoes,” and the commercially successful polyembryonic cultivar ‘Tommy Atkins’.

What is the global production of mangoes?

In 2021, world production of mangoes, including mangosteens and guavas, was approximately 57 million tonnes. India led the production with 25 million tonnes, followed by China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Mexico.

How are mangoes used in culinary applications?

Mangoes are used in a wide variety of cuisines. They can be consumed ripe as a sweet, juicy fruit or used in dishes such as chutneys, pickles, curries, juices, ice creams, and desserts. Green mangoes are also used in savory dishes and condiments such as salads and pickles.

Conclusion

From its ancient roots to its modern-day popularity, the mango has a storied history behind it. This juicy tropical fruit also boasts an impressive nutritional profile that delivers some great health perks.

So the next time you bite into a mango, remember just how fascinating they truly are. Whether you savor the sweet taste or use the leaves for decoration, mangoes offer both delicious flavor and cultural symbolism.


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