Produce of the Month: Mangoes!

5.1.18— Mango sticky rice. Mango smoothies. Mango salsa. Mango lassi. Is your mouth watering yet? This delicious tropical fruit is the golden delight that rightfully deserves its title as the King of Fruits.

mango-minPhoto courtesy of HealthiNation

background + history

The mango originated around 5,000 years ago in Southeast Asia and India, where it is still widely grown and eaten today. With such a long history, mangoes have strongly shaped the culture of these regions–according to legend, the Buddha himself was offered a mango grove to rest and meditate in. Buddhist monks were the first to spread mangoes throughout Malaya and East Asia in the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. and in the 15th century, Portuguese traders brought the mango to South America, the Philippines, and West Africa.

Mangoes are reportedly the most commonly consumed fruit in the world and are central to the cuisines of many tropical regions where they are widely cultivated. Popular mango recipes include mango lassi, mango curry, and mango chutney. They remain extremely important in India, where the season lasts from approximately late March through June and where mango preference is heatedly debated and hotly contested.

 

mangoes-festival-minPhoto source

Fun Facts

– There are more than 500 varieties of mango, which range in look and taste. For example, the Champagne mango is a small, kidney-shaped golden variety while the Tommy Atkins variety is a large, round mango with a red blush

-Speaking of Tommy Atkins, this is the variety you’re most likely to encounter in an American grocery store, as it’s the most commonly grown commercial variety, in part due to its disease resistance and long shelf life

– Mangoes are the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and the national tree of Bangladesh

– California mangoes are grown in the Coachella Valley, where the warm and dry conditions allow for commercial production

– 70% of mangoes consumed in the U.S. are grown in and exported from Mexico

– In 2016, worldwide mango production was 46.5 million metric tons, with more than 40% coming from India alone

 

Recipe

Mangoes are delicious sliced and eaten on their own, but the number of mango recipes and uses are endless. If you’re looking for a tried and true classic, fire up something spicy, and enjoy the soothing sweetness of a mango lassi! 

mango-lassi-smoothie-recipe-indian-3-min

Mango Lassi
(adapted from thewanderlustkitchen.com)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

-1 cup diced fresh mango
-1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
-1/2 cup of milk
-2 tablespoons sugar
-dash of cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

Add all of the ingredients to blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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