This Food Non-Fiction podcast episode is all about mangos! This is our first listener requested episode so thank you Spencer! Looking at fossils, we can trace the appearance of the first mangos to around 30 million years ago in Northeast India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Looking at old Hindu writings found in Southeast Asia and India, we can trace mango cultivation (for domestic use) back to 4000 B.C.E. so that’s 6,000 years ago. Buddhist monks were amongst the first to cultivate the fruit and it is said that Buddha himself often meditated under the shade of a mango tree. Looking at historical records, we can see how the fruit spread. Mangos were spread over the world by traveling with people. They needed to travel with humans because their seeds are so big that they can’t be dispersed by animals eating them and pooping out or otherwise discarding the seeds further away / and the seeds definitely can’t travel by blowing in the wind.
One mango is around 135 calories and will hold most of your daily recommended vitamin C as well as almost a third of your daily recommended Vitamin A. Actually the vitamin content changes depending on ripeness - when the mango is less ripe/more green, its vitamin C content is at its highest and when it is more ripe, its Vitamin A content is at its highest. Mangos contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals and are a great source of fiber.
Mangos nutrients support a healthy immune function, normal blood pressure, good vision and strong bones. There are studies that also claim added protection from certain cancers as well as stroke.
Their natural tenderizing properties make mangos a great ingredient to marinate meat in.
Refrigerate mangos when they’re perfectly ripe. If you haven’t cut them, they’ll stay good for around five days. If you’ve peeled and chopped them, keep them in the freezer in an airtight container. They can last about 6 months like that.
- Check firmness. Push against the mango’s skin and look for something in between squishy and hard.
- You should also be able to smell its fruity aroma on the stem end.
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