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Mango From A to Z: 26 Things to Know

Mango From A to Z: 26 Things to Know

From Aamras to Zill, a list of mango facts you can't miss: here are 26 interesting figures about one of the world's best known and loved summer fruits.

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Aamras. Spiced mango purée, usually served with puri bread, typical of Indian cuisine. Milk and/or ghee can be added, or even sugar and spices like ginger or cardamom.

Bolivar. Simón Bolívar (1783 – 1830) – Gabriel Garcia Marquez's General in His Labyrinth – did he eat mangoes or guavas? Correspondence and corrections between the writer and historians haven't yet clarified when the mango came to the Americas. Or, whether Bolivar in any event had the pleasure of tasting them.

Chutney. One of the most famous mango chutneys is Major Grey, from the name of the British official who most likely created it in colonial India. Its basic ingredients are mango – green, obviously – raisins, vinegar, lime juice, onion, tamarind extract, and other spices and sweeteners.

Dermatitis. Mango peel is edible, but it can also cause allergic dermatitis, visible on the lips, gums, and tongue.

Evergreen. Mangifera indica L., the common mango, is an evergreen with florets that smell of lilies. It grows to 30 metres in height, and lives up to 300 years.

Freeze. Do you want to buy them only in season? Peel them and cut them into cubes. They keep in the freezer for up to six months.

Grilled. A mango cut in two is a perfect candidate for grilling.

Hedgehog. The perfect cut for a mango is "the hedgehog". Stand the mango on its narrow side, and working 1 cm to either side of the middle, cut around the pit to remove the two meaty sides of the fruit. Make four or five deep parallel slices lengthwise in each side, without cutting through the rind. Then, slice parallel lines across those at a 90° angle, and "pop" the mango inside out: delicious cubes of mango with the greatest of ease!

India. In 2015 the European Union withdrew its veto on Indian mangoes, which it had banned the previous year because of fruit flies. Nevertheless, India – by far the world's largest producer – exported only 42,998 quintals of the fruit last year: 40% of the harvest was destroyed by the rains.

Jo. Jo Mango is a singer-songwriter and leader of a Glasgow acoustic and indie folk band of the same name. The genre developed in the '90s, inspired by the folk of the '60s and '70s.

Kensington Pride. This is the iconic mango cultivar native to Australia and is the one most commonly grown there. It likely came to the oceanic country with merchants who were bringing horses to India for military purposes. It proved to be a variety that's especially resistant to the Mediterranean climate.

Leo Skliros. The farmer from Australia's Northern Territory who created a new variety of mango in 2014: the Malibu. It tastes vaguely of coconut.

Mangoed. Beginning in the 17th century, the term began to take the meaning of being preserved "in vinegar", "brined", or at least "jarred", and it referred to fruits and vegetables transported as luxury goods in the long naval voyages from India to France and England, where the word "chutney" was still associated with the lower social classes.

Nursery. In 2013 in Spain, the only Mediterranean producer along with Israel, an experimental project was launched to grow mangoes in greenhouses, converting disused structures to increase productivity.

Operation Hydrate. This is the humanitarian operation promoted by Mango Airlines to distribute water to drought-stricken areas of South Africa.

Pahna. A famously refreshing Indian mango beverage. The fruit is boiled with sugar, saffron, and powdered cardamom, and then it's all blended together.

Qantas. This airline flies the Australian flag. Last January it shipped the first 800 cartons of Kensington Pride destined for the US market.

Radio. 96.2 FM, Dubai, Radio Mango. If you're in traffic, tune in: the top radio station in Kerala, which launched its fifth station in the United Arab Emirates, will tell you how many songs away you are from Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper (829.8 m).

Sink. “You know you have a good mango when you have to eat it over the sink,” Gord Watson, the tropical procurement category manager for Loblaw, told The Star. We agree.

Tommy Atkins. This is the cultivar that dominates the world market, covering 80% of the British and US markets. It's certainly not the best in terms of quality, but it's very productive, stores well, withstands handling, and is resistant to disease.

Unripe. Can you judge how ripe a mango is by its colour? Nope. It'll trick you. It may seem ripe, but it's still green. The way to detect ripeness is through its sweet smell, soft feel, heavier weight, and the juice that tries to spray out at the slightest touch!

Varieties. There are hundreds of mango cultivars, and its flavour changes enormously depending on the variety.

Worship. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1968 mangoes became a symbol of Mao Tse-tung's love for workers, who began to worship the fruit, turning it into reliquaries and an object of true devotion. It was the peak of the cult of personality, the apex of the social idolatry of the country's leader.

XS. As in, extra small. These are the "condo mangoes", dwarf or semi-dwarf trees. Developed in Florida, there are a number of cultivars, including Ice Cream.

YouTube. There are about 3,690,000 hits for "mango" on YouTube, ranging from music to fruit.

Zill. This variety, created in the 1930s in Florida, has been neglected despite its excellent quality because it does not store well. Today it is planted in Africa.

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