What’s Blooming: Mango: How Sweet It Is!

Porcupine and produce may not seem like an appetizing blend to food lovers, but consider the exotic taste of sweet cubes from a “porcupine-style” cut mango which makes the odd combination an instant taste celebration. The amazing uniqueness of the mango offers an array of reasons why the produce is so beloved among fruit lovers everywhere from professional chefs to the average consumer. Because of the appealing look and alluring scent, followed by the addictive taste, smell and texture it’s easy to see why a mango in any form should be a culinary staple.

The mango is recognized by its smooth, waxy, leathery skin which protects the soft edible tissue of the kidney-shaped mango fruit. The skin offers a visual of vibrant colors ranging from yellow to pinkish-red. Depending upon the maturity of the Mangifera Indica L., as mango is scientifically known, a combination of these shades will collaborate to express the true decadence of the crop’s ripe insides, which are normally a pale yellow to orange hue. Furthermore, depending on the level of ripeness, the consistency of mango flesh can range from that of a ripe plum to the firm smoothness of an avocado.

Fragrantly intoxicating, the sweet scent that a ripe mango fruit emits from its stem is a tantalizing prelude to the rich pineapple-orange-peach flavor profile that the reigning “king of fruits” offers, making the native Southeast Asian produce one of the world’s most extensively exploited crop for food, juice, fragrance and color. In regard to consumption, mango has proven to be a delicious addition to pastries, smoothies, salsa, jams, chutney, gelato, toppings and an extensive list of savory applications. As a bonus, both green and ripe mangoes have proven to be excellent meat tenderizing aides.

Large, heavy and oblong in shape, the flat seed of a mango is arguably the most menacing part of enjoying the exotic treat. It is said that distribution of the mango seed is only possible by way of human travel, as it is too large and heavy to be consumed by birds. Nevertheless, the mango is widely cultivated in tropical climates around the globe with the Alfonso species (native to India) staking claim as the sweetest and juiciest of over 400 different varieties. Additionally, commercial production of the exotic mango now spans six continents, with Florida, California, Hawaii and Puerto Rico producing the most crops in the United States due to their accommodating temperatures.

The mango super fruit could easily be called “the fruit that loves you back,” due to the superior healthful nutrition it offers. One medium sized mango provides up to 40 percent of required fiber intake, and is low in calories and an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta carotene, potassium and antioxidants. Mangoes even have more Vitamin C than oranges. It’s true that no matter how a mango is sliced, diced, pureed or sautéed, the “royal” exotic fruit never lacks in flavor or falls short of nutrition.


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