I am just home from our weekly shop at the Lulu Hypermarket in Fujairah. What a rich social and cultural experience it is.
It is that time of the year where there are mangoes a-plenty. They make more out of the annual Mango festival in Fujairah than they do with the Easter festival.
Last time when I wrote on the Mango Mania festival I diligently counted and discovered that there were over 120 varieties of mango in the supermarket from scores of countries in the world.
After the groceries were put away today we treated ourselves to a mango each. It was sensational—the best I have ever tasted. The texture was smooth and not in the least bit stringy. Just the right blend of sweet and sour. With juice dripping down my chin I voted that mangoes are the best fruit in the world. Eating a mango is such a sensuous experience.
This web site has posted hundreds of mango recipes that highlight the fact that this fruit has amazing uses. You can make an omelet mango for breakfast that you can have along with sugarless mango bread, with mango jam on your toast. Then there are recipes for mango soup, mango mousse, mango sorbet, mango ketchup, mango meat loaf, mango salad and mango cheesecake!!
What versatility from the one fruit.
History in the Fruit
Historians will like to know that when you are eating a mango you are doing what has given comfort and pleasure for thousands of years beginning in South-East Asian and then radiating throughout the world.
Botanists might like to know there are over 1,000 varieties of mango. The one we had this morning was from India. Some say that the alphonso is the best.
The web sites are telling me that mangoes have many nutritional qualities—they are rich in minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. They sooth the stomach and aid the digestion. They have plenty of fibre to keep you regular, and properties that offer protection against cancer.
Mango groves have given tranquility to Buddhists and ordinary seekers of serenity.
Hindus believe that mango trees grant wishes and they hang the leaves around the front door of the house to gain a blessing.
Mango leaves are also hung around the front door of a newly married couple’s house to grant them fertility.
I have heard of old time orators and preachers who used to eat a raw egg before they had to speak but Sanskrit poets have reckoned for centuries that munching a mango bud lends sweetness to your voice.
The mango tree, so tradition tells us, has properties that guard against infection, asthma and they act as a contraceptive and an aphrodisiac!! All you need in the one tree and fruit. No wonder the mango is called ‘the King of fruits.
Sharing Mango Stories and Secrets
In this mango season in the UAE, have you got any mango stories and truths to share?
In particular tell me:
What is your favorite type of mango and which country has the best mangoes?
What is your secret in selecting a mango from the market?
Have you got a favorite mango recipe you can send me to add to my new mango recipe collection?
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: Mango mania. I love the way these mangoes have been cut. Most of the uncut ones in the pictures are the alphonso.