(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Mangos

We take our smoothies pretty seriously here at Mango, and you probably needn’t guess our favorite flavor. We’re not alone in this either; Mangos are one of the most popular fruits in the world — and for good reason. They’re delicious, healthy, and versatile.

A symbol of love and friendship from one of its countries of origin, India, the mango fruit is a hefty dose of vitamins A, C, and D. Sweet, accessible, and healthy, what better way to fortify your body with the nutrients it needs than with a delicious Mango smoothie, salsa, or mocktail?

Despite the ubiquitous nature of mango-inspired dishes around the world, actually cooking with them can be a little intimidating for first-timers. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know to get started making your own tasty mango summer treats.

First of all, is it mangos or mangoes?

According to the National Mango Board (NMB), mangos made their way into agriculture more than 5,000 years ago in India. The English word ‘mango’ comes from the Portuguese word manga, probably via the Malayalam word മാമ്പഴം, or māṅṅa. Now that the fruit is one of the most popular around the world, it’s time to put this debate to rest: is the plural of mango mangos or mangoes? Typically, if an English noun ends in an ‘o’ following a consonant, the plural form ends in ‘-oes’ (potatoes, tomatoes) — but not all words follow that rule! Some simply end with ‘s’ (like ‘photos’). So which one is right? Answer: Either spelling is acceptable, according to Merriam-Webster and the OED. To keep things cute, we’ve decided to just go ahead with mangos.

Choosing your fruit: Which type of mango should you buy?

With all the different sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors of mangos on the market, it can be hard to know which ones to pick. Here are a few of the most popular varieties around the world, and how they vary in taste, texture, and appearance.

Taste: Sweet, with citrus undertones. Texture: Firm, buttery, fiberless. Origins: Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador. Uses: When fully ripe, the skin of this Mango turns yellow with black blemishes on its wrinkly skin. It has an abundance of health benefits, so it’s perfect for smoothies!

Taste: Sugary-sweet. Texture: Small, round and tender, this Mango is creamy, with no fibers. Origins: One of the most popular in India, this bright-yellow variety is produced in Karnataka and the Andhra Pradesh States of India. Uses: When ripe, this mango turns a saffron color and is often used in lassi, sorbets, and puree

Taste: Sweet with a hint of tanginess Texture: Large, succulent, with very few fibers Origins: Originating from Florida, this mango is mostly grown in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. Uses: When ripe, Kent mangos turn soft and gold, and are often used for juicing and drying.

Taste: Mild Texture: Firm, fibrous Origins: Florida, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala. Uses: Green, red, with hints of orange and yellow, the firm flesh of this Mango makes it ideal for salsas.

Taste: Sweet, fragrant, floral Texture: Firm, creamy, with fine fibers. Origin: Florida, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru Uses: When ripe, the green areas of the skin turn yellow, and the sweet, floral flavors of this Mango make it popular for desserts and other sweet dishes.

Before you cut: How long do mangos last?

The best way to cut a mango depends on the type you’re preparing, but all mangos should be stored at room temperature before use. When ripe, mangos will typically not last for more than four days.

If you want to store your mango chilled or frozen, make sure to cut the mango first before refrigerating or freezing the fruit.

Preparing your fruit: How do you actually cut a mango?

Mangos are beautiful and delicious fruits, but for those of us who have never prepared one at home, the task can seem a little daunting. Fortunately, it’s much easier than it appears, and some preparation methods even have cool names:

Shown above, this one is quick, simple, and looks pretty impressive on a plate!

This chef-preferred method allows you to have more control over the thickness of the slices, and to peel the mango safely.

Got little ones who want to be involved? Slice a super ripe mango in half, and scoop out the middle with a spoon or cup for easy eating. 

Ideal for cutting unripe mangos, you can first peel the mango (as you would a potato) and then cut the flesh however you want.

How to cook with mangos: Our favorite recipes

After decades of so many mango varieties being exported to countries around the world, it’s no surprise that the fruit shows up on a wide array of recipes and menus. From green smoothies and vegan snacks to rich sorbets, purees, and salsas, mangos can make a great addition to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snacktime.

Mango smoothie recipies

This recipe for the famous mango lassi allows flexibility for the type of mango, yogurt, and garnish you can use. Lassi can also be made either sweet or salty, sure to satisfy any type of palate.

Three ingredients, a boozy-option, and one busy blender later, and you might just forget that you’re not on a tropical beach somewhere soaking up the sun.

Could you do without dairy? This vegan mango smoothie is rich, creamy, healthy, and dairy-free. Plus, you only need two ingredients!

Pack a few more nutrients into this vegan-friendly smoothie without losing any of the flavor. The secret ingredient? Spinach!

Mango sauces, stir fries, and sides

The title says it all. With just five ingredients, you’ve got a delicious salsa that can be used on chips, tacos, salads, you name it!

According to the author and chef behind this recipe, “Mango with coconut sweetened sticky rice, known as Khao Neow Mamuang (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง) in Thai, is perhaps one of Thailand’s most well known desserts or sweet snacks.”

This quick, easy, authentic Indian sauce pairs well with an assortment of dishes and can be used as a marinade. Try it with pork, chicken, curry, or even spread it like jam on your toast!

Mango sweets and desserts

This recipe not only gives you the taste of your favorite restaurant-style mango pudding but also a step-by-step guide on how to pick out the perfect mango for the smoothest, sweetest, silkiest finish.

This Italian-style dessert is made with buttermilk in addition to the heavy cream, while the mango sauce is super simple and delicious.

A kid-friendly recipe, this cookie lets you know which type of mango you need right in the title!

Hungry yet? We sure are. When it comes to mango, the sky is the limit. And remember: some of the best conversations start over a table full of delicious food. Surprise your loved ones with not only your chef-tier cooking skills, but a few lessons of our Spanish (Latin American), Thai, or Malayalam courses will have you starting the conversation in a whole new language.

Learn a new language with Mango

Designed for the explorers at heart, the kindred spirits who want to live life to the fullest, Mango is language learning for the modern world. Challenge what you know and let the world surprise you. With over 70 languages, which one will you choose?

So, where do you stand in the mangos vs. mangoes debate? What are your favorite ways to eat mangos? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Meet The Author:
Author - Megan Polom
Megan Polom
Writer at Mango Languages
A coffee and podcast addict, Megan is a copywriter here at Mango. She is currently learning Korean and Spanish and hopes to tackle French next.

To embark on your next language adventure, join the Mango fam!

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