7 Delicious Facts About The Mango

1. Mangoes are as diverse as apples or plums

There are hundreds and hundreds of varieties of mango, regional and distinct. Some creamy and sweet, some citrusy, some a bit hot, some like pineapple and some – often found in our supermarkets – just a bit bland. It’s worth seeking out the sweeter varieties if you can: give the Alphonso a try.

2. It is the national fruit of not one but three countries

The mango is the national fruit of Pakistan, India and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh.

3. The name “mango” originated in India

The English name mango is likely derived from the Tamil word mankay or Keralan word mangga. When Portuguese traders settled in Southern India, they adopted the name as manga. It was as the British were trading with South India in the 15th and 16th Centuries that the word mango was born.

4. Over 43 million tonnes of mangoes are produced globally

Almost all of these are Tommy Atkins mangoes – a variety that grows quickly, has a great size and colour, is resistant to many types of fungus, doesn’t bruise easily, and will last a long time on a supermarket shelf. All these characteristics make it ripe for exporting around the world. Unfortunately, it is also stringy and relatively tasteless.

5. India is the world’s biggest producer of mangoes

The South Asian country produces over 18 million tonnes of the fruit, mostly for domestic consumption.

6. Mangoes were first grown in India over 5,000 years ago

The wild mango is thought to have originated in the foothills of the Himalayas in India and Myanmar. The first known cultivation of the fruit was around 5,000 years ago in Southern India, Myanmar, and the Andaman Islands (an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal).

7. The oldest mango tree has been around for centuries

The oldest living mango tree is thought to be 300 years old and is found in East Khandesh in Central India. Surprisingly, the ancient plant still produces fruit!

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