2010-04-04

MANGO, THE KING OF FRUITS

Throughout tropical Latin America Mango season starts in full at the end of the dry season, usually April to May, when Mangoes start appearing in abundance in every venue, from super market to road side vendor, even neighbors start offering free mangoes. The mango is indigenous to India. Cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions and distributed widely in the world, mango is the most extensively exploited fruit. Of all the commercially produced fruits mangoes are 50% and the consumption follows the same pattern, mangoes are the most widely consumed fruit in the world.


The Mango is a recent arrival in Latin America but it has spread widely to the point that it grows wild. The first trees were planted by Portuguese merchants in the city of Salvador de Bahia in Brazil in the 1700's, they brought them from their colonies in India. Mango trees are easy to grow from seed, they are not very demanding of soil conditions. The best mangoes for planting at home are grafted trees from a variety that produces large fruits in small quantity. Mango trees from seeds usually grow very large and produce small fruits in large quantities that end up rotting on the ground and attract mosquitoes. These large quantities of mangoes are useful mostly for farm animals, cattle and pigs love mangoes.

Mangoes like many tropical fruit are found in 3 stages of ripeness, green (verde), semi-ripe (pinton) and ripe (maduro); the green are used because they are crunchy and sour, good for pickling and baking; the semi-ripe are used for their firmness and slightly acidic taste, and the ripe for its sweetness. I find semi-ripe mangoes the best for eating fresh. Green mangoes are often eaten with salt or Adobo (spiced salt) in baking they can substitute sour apples. Ripe mangoes are good for liquefying and making shakes, smoothies or sherbets.

 
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Mangifera indica


ENGLISH NAME: Mango

LOCAL NAMES: Mango, Manga

PRODUCTS: Pickles, dry powder, marmalades, jellies, juices, concentrate.

NUTRIENTS: Mangoes are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin B6, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars. The following link will give you more precise nutrional information: Mango Nutrients

PROCESSING: Processing mangoes is about getting the flesh away from the seed and inner skin but depending on the recipe there are different cuts. The following link will  show you: How to cut a mango

STORING: Mangoes keep well at room temperature until they ripen then you should refrigerate them to prevent over ripening which can occur really fast.


MANGO SALSA: This the mango version of the typical Mexican salsa. 1 medium hot pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced, 2/3 cup diced red bell pepper, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced; toss well all ingredients serve with plantain or corn chips; good companion to grilled white meats such as chicken or pork.



MANGO CHUTNEY: Very typical dish from India to eat with crackers or plantain chips. Take 4 large cloves of garlic, one 5 cm (2 in) ginger root and blend with 1/4 cup of white vinegar, reserve; heat 3/4 cup of white vinegar and add 3 cups of white sugar and boil till sugar dissolves; coarsely crush 1/2 teaspoon each cloves and black peppercorn and add to sweet vinegar with the garlic ginger paste; add 3 semi-ripe mangos coarsely grated and 1 seeded medium hot pepper minced; mix well, bring to boil and reduce heat, cook until mango is tender and the syrup is thick. Let cool before serving, flavor improves with time.


 
 
 
CILANTRO MANGO SALAD: 2 large semi-ripe mangoes cut in strips, 1 small red onion cut in strips, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, pinch of ground cumin, toss well and spray with a dressing prepared as follows: 6 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, 1 teaspoon of mustard, salt and pepper to taste, mix well. You can substitute the cilantro with other fresh herbs like basil, mint, tarragon, if the herbs are dried use only 1 teaspoon.


PORK MANGO SKEWERS: 0.5Kg (1 Lb) of lean pork cut in 1 in cubes, 2 large semi-ripe mangoes in 1 inch cubes. Prepare a marinade with the juice each of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 2 Tbs of oil, 2 tbs of dark sugar (raspadura, panela), 1 large clove or garlic, 1 hot pepper seeded or hot sauce to taste, salt and pepper to taste, liquefy well. Spray marinade over pork and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours before grilling. Assemble skewers with 4 pieces of pork and 3 pieces of mango, cook until golden, about 4 minutes on each side, over a grill or under a broiler. To serve spray with fresh chopped cilantro.


 
MANGO CRÈME BRULEE: this is a Thai version of the famous French dish, it is healthier and I think more delicious. 3 semi-ripe mangoes finely diced, 2 cups of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, zest and juice of 1 large lime, 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons of dark sugar (raspadura, panela), mix well, distribute in 4 ramekins or coffee cups and refrigerate overnight. Before serving spray 2 Tbs of dark sugar over each cup and burn with a kitchen torch or under broiler, until sugar melts and turns golden, let cool and serve.

2 comments:

  1. Mangos also have many medicinal qualities, including

    Externally:
    Antioxidant
    Free radical
    Prostate cancer
    Inflamation
    Arthritis Malaria Diabetes Vertilgo Asthma Laxative Heart
    Cough
    Blood pressure

    Externally: Antiseptic and Sunscreen

    However the Mango sap contains urushiol, the chemical that causes the severe itch reaction to poison ivy and poison oak.

    Roger Imerman

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mango is most important crop in pakistan, Pakistani mango is exported to large number of countries in the world.

    Mango exporter
    Sindhri mango exporter

    ReplyDelete