Mangoes (Mango) In Asia - It Is The Indian National Fruit
Mango is the national fruit of India. It is available in almost all parts of I Indiaexcept the hill areas. In India mango isused since immemorial time; its citation is found in the old mythologicalhistory of Hindus and was regarded as the “Food of God”.
Mango growsin the summer season only. Being highly perishable its preservation is alsodifficult. Other than India mango also grows in China, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan and Brazil.
Food Value and Taste
Mango is generally sweet, although the taste and texture are varied widely depending on thevariety; some mangoes are found to be a little sour in taste. The ripe mango iscommonly eaten fresh and unripe which are mostly sour in taste are used as aningredient for cooking as well as making varieties of pickles.
Mango isrich in vitamins and minerals.
The yellowish or reddish flowers are borne in inflorescences which appear at branch terminals, in dense panicles of up to 2000 minute flowers. Mango flowers are pollinated by flies, hoverflies and rarely bees. Few of the flowers in each inflorescence are perfect, so most do not produce pollen and are incapable of producing fruit. Pollen cannot be shed in high humidity or rain. Fertilization requires temperature below 55° F. As the mango trees are monoecious and self-fertile a single tree would produce fruit without cross pollination.
Mango trees generally grow 35–40 m (115–130 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The life of a mango tree is very long and sometimes found to produce fruits even after300 years. Its leaves are orange pink when young and turn to a dark glossy redafter a few days and finally become dark green as they mature. Mango leaves areused to decorate archways and doors in Indian houses during religious ritualslike wedding and worshiping of God.
Cuisine and Utilities
Mangoes are widely used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, pickles, side dishes. It can also be eaten raw with saltandchili. Mangos Lassi, mango shake are also popular in Indian subcontinent. Mangoes are used in preserves like moramba, amchur (dried and powdered unripe mango) and pickles, including a spicy mustard-oil pickle. Ripe mango pulps are dried and preserved; it is called Amsatto in Eastern India and is very famous throughout the Indian subcontinent.
A large number of mango varieties can be found in India. the most popular ones include Alphonso (also called Hapoos), Amrapali, Bangalora, Banganapalli (also known as Benishaan), Bombay, Bombay Green, Chausa, Chinna Rasalu, Dashaheri (Daseri), Fazli, Fernandian, Gulabkhas, Himayath (a.k.a. Imam Pasand), Himsagar, Jehangir, Kesar, Kishen Bhog, Lalbaug, Langda (Langra), Mallika, Mankurad, Mulgoa, Neelam, Pairi, Pedda Rasalu, Rajapuri, Safeda, Suvarnarekha, Totapuri, Vanraj and Zardalu.
Each one of the above verities is having their own specialty. The climate condition required for different varieties are different. Mango is very delicate fruit and its taste differs with the slight variation of weather condition. Tropical weather is considered to be best for growing mangoes. Mango trees could not survive in a low temperature zone that is why it is not found in the hill areas where weather is normally cool.
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Photographs of Different Varieties of Mangoes
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