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Mango, a much-loved tropical fruit

Despite being distinctly tropical and “exotic,” mangos are a popular and beloved fruit even in our latitudes. It originates from a highly sturdy, leafy tree that can grow up to 20 metres tall and has resinous bark. In tropical regions, it bears fruit year-round, but in other warm climates—like Sicily, where it is also grown—it only produces fruit during the summer.

The fruit is spherical in shape and, depending on the type and level of ripeness, has a skin that is somewhat thick. The pulp is always yellow-orange in colour and can be very soft, firm, sweet, or aromatic. Mangos are particularly healthy for you in terms of nutrition because they are high in fibre, vitamins C and A, and potassium. Mango contains many omega-3 fatty acids. Carotenoids, polyphenols, and luteols are additional significant compounds that have a basic antioxidant effect.

The many varieties of mango

There are numerous varieties of mango, and they all differ in flavour, appearance, and texture. Here are the most cultivated ones:

  • Tommy Atkins: It is the best-selling mango in the world, the one that respects the stereotype best of all. Very sweet, of medium consistency, and with a leathery but edible skin.
  • Kent: Similar to the previous variety, it is decidedly juicier and reaches a significant size and weight.
  • Keitt: It is characterised by its oval shape and bright orange colour. It is the richest in mineral salts.
  • Ataulf: It is medium-juicy and slightly sweet; it is characterised by its yellow colour and small size.
  • Kensington Pride: It is characterised by a decidedly aromatic flavour. It is native to Australia and is also cultivated in Sicily.
  • Glenn: It is characterised by a discreet size and a bright colour that sometimes turns red. This is also a variety grown in Sicily.

How to eat mangos

Mangos are obviously best eaten raw, as a table fruit, or spiced up in delectable fruit salads. Still, it may be used as an ingredient in a lot of recipes, either as a main meal or a side dish. Below, you will find a selection of recipes enhanced by the presence of mango:

You will obviously find elegant and tasty desserts, as well as tasty creams and veloutés. There are also a large number of desserts, including tarts and chutneys. The same is true of savoury foods, especially salads and first courses that combine sweet and sour flavours.

The most creative recipes

Mango, as we have seen, can be eaten raw but also gives life to a long series of recipes. It is worth honouring the most creative recipes, some of which have already been covered here on the site. Here is a list of a few of them, with links to the website’s detailed recipe.

Mango cake: It is a traditional Filipino cake that is inspired by the stuffed cakes of the Western tradition. The base is made up of sponge cake, while the filling is made up of a delicious mango cream obtained from the fruit pulp, cream cheese, and many other ingredients. The decoration is obviously entrusted to fresh mango slices.

Mango and banana smoothie bowl: Although this recipe is part of the smoothie bowl tradition, it nevertheless surprises with its flavour and colour combinations that convey a certain variation. Mango, blackberries, bananas, hemp seeds, chocolate, and coconut chips are actually present.

Mango and coconut cup. It’s an ice cream-like smoothie-purée. The combination of yoghurt, Jerusalem artichoke syrup, and mango pulp results in a texture that is both soft and gritty. The recipe requires two trips to the freezer, lasting a couple of hours and half an hour, respectively.

Mango sauce: A sauce for savoury dishes that impresses with the boldness of its combinations. The mango joins the cream cheese in a tangy embrace. Finally, to flavour everything, we find fresh thyme and chilli peppers.

Lobster salad: Another bold recipe that plays with savoury and sweet hints. Here, the mango dampens the “marine” flavour of the lobster, creating a visually stunning and tasty second course with a side dish.

The benefits of this tropical fruit

Mangos are not only healthy but also advantageous. Thus, it is worthwhile to enumerate the health advantages that this priceless fruit provides for the body.

Strengthens the immune system: The credit goes not only to the abundance of vitamin C but also to the presence of quercetin. The latter is an antioxidant that has recently demonstrated its antiviral capabilities.

It helps prevent cancer: Antioxidants found in mangos, such as quercetin and flavonoids, combat free radicals and lower the risk of developing cancer.

Protects the heart and vascular system: Mango has been shown in several studies to have antihypertensive and antiatherosclerotic properties. Mango specifically lowers blood pressure and supports artery integrity for this reason.

Stimulates diuresis: Mango has a high water content, which therefore stimulates diuresis and fights water retention.

It is compatible with slimming diets: Mango is among the few tropical fruits to have a low caloric intake, in line with more Mediterranean fruits. Due to these properties, the fruit can be integrated into even the most stringent diets.

Contraindications of mango

Mango is among the few foods in nature that have no specific contraindications. The only problems are connected to excess consumption and, in any case, concern some predisposed subjects.

For example, the presence of sugars (not excessive) could cause some problems in those suffering from type 2 diabetes (mellitus). The percentage of fat, although minimal (contained in its pulp), can slightly increase the risk for those who complain of high triglycerides.

It must be acknowledged that a rare type of allergy to mangos exists. Diarrhoea and stomach pains are the most prevalent symptoms. Additionally, systemic and dermatological symptoms—such as skin rashes and dyspnea—can appear, possibly progressing to more serious conditions.