Mango – the sweet heavyweight of the fruit world
A single mango can weigh as much as two kilos, which is quite impressive for a fruit. However, mangos only grow this to this size in their native tropical and sub-tropical regions when left to ripen on the tree. The fruit that hits the shop shelves here is usually a lot lighter, weighing on average 500 grams. But whatever the weight, and whether they’re round or oval, all mangos come with an unrivalled payload of goodness.
In South-East Asia, where the mango has been grown for centuries, the fruits are objects of veneration. There is, for example, a proverb that states: “There are only two seasons: monsoon and mango. Monsoon season replenishes India’s soil. Mango season replenishes India’s soul.” Every year, around harvesting time, few topics have the entire nation more in thrall than mangoes, with endless discussions about the different varieties, their sweetness, their flavour. People wax lyrical about mangos in a collective lovefest and gorge on these treats for the 100 or so days they are in season.
There are over 1000 varieties of mangoes, all with different shapes, sizes and flavours; some are eaten as savoury dishes, some are used in sweet treats. The mango is the core ingredient for countless specialities.
A mango is ripe and ready to eat if its yellow-green-red skin gives way when pressed gently. It’s almost as if this lush beauty is telling us: “Eat me – I’m perfect!” Mangoes also signal their ripeness with their irresistible and very tempting scent: once smelt, never forgotten!