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Rhonda Parkinson
Definition: One of the world’s most popular tropical fruits, the mango is thought to have originated in Northeast India. It has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes, in all shapes and sizes. A mango can be small as a plum or up to ten inches in diameter; long and slender, round, oval, or kidney shaped. The color of its skin can range from green to a yellowish-orange. With the exception of one variety (all too aptly nicknamed the "turpentine mango"), mangos are renowned for the fragrant, juicy flesh lying beneath the outer skin. The most popular mango for export is the Alphonso mango, called the “King of Mangoes.”

It is hard to overemphasize the role of the mango in Indian culture. They were a sacred fruit in India, where legend has it that Buddha was given a mango grove as a gift, in order that he might seek repose among the towering evergreens (mango trees can reach up to sixty feet in height). Later, the ability to cultivate mangoes became something of a status symbol. Today, mangoes are considered to be a symbol of love, and a basket of mangos is an excellent gift.

According to The Oxford Companion to Food, mangoes were introduced to the world outside India by a Chinese traveler named Hwen T’sang, following his visit to India in the first century A.D.

The mango is a member of the Anacardiaceae family; other plants in this family include cashew and pistachio.

An extremely popular fruit, mangoes are grown around the world, from Mexico to Israel to Australia. In the United States, you'll find mango groves flourishing under Florida's sunny skies. The fragrant flavor of the mango is used to spice up everything from salads and desserts to drinks. In Asian cooking, mangoes feature prominently in salads and rice dishes, and is used in relishes and chutneys.

Also Known As: Mango, Mangot, Manga, Mangou
Mango Recipes:
Mango Chicken Stir-fry
Chinese Chilled Melon Fruit Salad
Beef With Mango
Mango Smoothie

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