Aussie mangoes mean Summer, the feeling of sunshine and salt on your skin, the smell of barbeques and long evenings punctuated by the sounds of crickets and cicadas.
They are an icon, quick and easy to prepare and bursting with nutritional value – but did you know that mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world and were first grown in India more than 5000 years ago?
The mango is seen as a symbol of love in the Subcontinent and a basket of mangoes is considered a gesture of friendship. Legend has it that Buddha meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree, which can grow as tall as 30 metres and has been used in folk remedies for centuries.
Here are five more fun facts and tips bout mangoes:
•A one-cup serving of mangoes is just 100 calories and provides 100% of your daily vitamin C, 35% of daily vitamin A and 12% of your daily fibre.
•Don’t judge a mango by its colour – red doesn’t mean ripe! Squeeze gently to judge ripeness – a ripe mango will ‘give’ slightly and a firm mango will ripen at room temperature over a few days. To speed up ripening, place mangoes in a paper bag at room temperature. Once ripe they can be moved to the fridge to slow down ripening for several days.
•Mangoes can be enjoyed with salt, lime juice or chilli powder for a unique flavour experience. In many Latin American countries, mango on a stick with the skin peeled back is sold by street vendors.
•With natural tenderising properties, mangoes are a perfect ingredient for a marinade.
•Mangoes are related to cashews and pistachios.
Try this versatile fruit in smoothies, salads, salsa, chutneys, on fish, chicken or pork, as a dessert or just plain as a delicious snack. Here are five recipes ideal for Summer: