Mango – Regal Tropical Fruit
Mango is the fruit of a tree that grows in warm parts of the world. It is sweet and tasty. It is sometimes called “the queen (or king) of tropical fruits.” In Sanskrit, mango means “a great fruit”. Thousands of years ago mangoes were small fruits that tasted like pine needles. They grew only in some parts of Asia and India, and today they’re grown in most tropical countries. Many kings and nobles had their own mango groves. The source of great pride and high social status was the cultivation of their own varieties. According to custom, the most beautiful fruits – the best mangoes – were sent as gifts to high-ranking individuals and dear friends. Approximately in the 5th century BC, Buddhist monks brought mango to Malaysia and East Asia.
The legend says that the Buddha found peace in the mango grove. Persian traders brought mangoes to the Middle East and Africa, and from there Portuguese ships brought this fruit to Brazil. In 1830-1880 mango reached North America.
Mangoes grow on tall evergreen trees. The mango tree may grow to 18 meters tall. The fruits develop from small, pinkish flowers. They can be red, yellow, green purple, or a combination of colors. Mangoes can be oval, round, kidney-shaped, heartshaped or long and slender. In the middle of the fruit is a single flat seed. The largest mangoes weigh as much as 2.3 kilograms and the smallest ones are the size of a plum.
The tender and fragrant pulp of mango contains an incredibly large amount of vitamins and minerals. Mangoes are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and D. People eat mangoes fresh and in main dishes and desserts.
In India, during festivals, you’ll find mango leaves hanging outside the front doors of many houses. This is because mangoes are believed to bring luck. Indians brush their teeth with mango branches during holy days.
In Pakistan and India, the mango is a national plant.
The mango tree is an evergreen tree of the cashew family.
The leaves of the mango tree are considered poisonous and can be fatal to animals. Also, it is not advisable to burn a mango tree, since poisonous vapors irritate the eyes and lungs.