Mangoes have been growing in India for over 5000 years, and in fact the name in Hindi is aam, which means “common.” The fruit and leaves are used in Hindu rituals, and also play a role in Buddhist folklore, where the fruit is considered sacred. In fact, one of Buddha’s followers gave him a mango orchard, so that he could rest and meditate in the shade of the mango trees.
In the US, we gets most of our mangoes from Mexico, Haiti, Peru, and Brazil, while the EU imports from India, South Africa, Pakistan, and Thailand. When you find the countries on the map, notice their distance from the equator. What conditions do mango tree need to thrive? Can they grow where you live?
Mangoes are one of our favorite fruits: they are as sweet as candy, packed with antioxidants, and high in vitamin C and A. Their soft and juicy texture allowed them to be one of my babies’ first solid foods that I didn’t have to mash, and my kids have enjoyed this high-fiber, low-calorie fruit ever since. Recently I was buying a box of ripe mangoes in the supermarket, and someone asked me how I would serve them. Here’s how my kids love to eat mangoes.
First, understand the anatomy of a mango. There is a long, skinny, flat pit in the middle. You will need to jam a fork into the base of the mango, where the small stem was. You will probably hit the hard pit, so keep trying and keep wiggling until you can place the fork firmly enough to hold the weight of the mango like a lollipop.
Next, score the top of the peel as in the picture below. Now peel the mango, as if peeling a banana, removing to expose the fruit.
Finally, get some napkins or head outside to enjoy this juicy lollipop! You will get sticky, but the taste is tropical heaven.