National Mango Day
One of the most popular fruits in the world, the mango, is celebrated today with National Mango Day. Mangos grow on the Mangifera Indica plant, known as the mango tree. The trees start bearing fruit after about six years, and it takes about 120 days for a flower to transform into a fruit. By one count, there are over 1,200 varieties of mangos. The shortest trees are around 8 feet in height, while the tallest are about 60–100 feet. The Tommy Atkins tree, bearing the most common mango, is about 12 feet in height. Mangos were first cultivated in India and moved from there to the Middle East, East Africa, and South America. They were brought to South America and Mexico in the seventeenth century and to Florida in 1833.
Picked by hand, mangos are ripe if they give a bit when they are squeezed. The edible portion is inside the outer skin, and at its center is a stone with a seed. A whole mango is just over 200 calories, but a serving—three-quarters cup, sliced—is 70 calories. Mangos contain more than 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and folate. They contain fiber but are free of cholesterol, sodium, and fat. Succulent and aromatic, they can be cut up and eaten plain, but can also be put on top of oatmeal and pancakes, or be used in tacos, salsa, smoothies, salads, and grain bowls. They can be pickled, grilled, and prepared in other ways.
How to Observe National Mango Day
Celebrate with mangos!
- Learn about the different varieties of mangos and when they are available.
- Pick a mango that's ripe and ready.
- Cut up a mango and eat it plain. You could also put it on top of oatmeal or pancakes.
- Make some mango salsa.
- Make a mango smoothie.
- Make a mango salad.
- Pickle some mangos.
- Grill some mangos.
- Try some other mango recipes.