Mangoes are a gorgeous summer fruit which lights up our lives in South Africa between December and April.
The soft but firm flame-coloured fruit is used in many styles of cuisine from simple salads to sassy curries. It is also a fresh and exotic fruit to use in a dessert and adds a tropical element of fun to the end of a meal.
As an unripe fruit, they are turned into delicious chutneys and pickles.
They have been grown in South Africa for more than 100 years. They have become so popular that 75 000 tons are produced annually, while the local market devours 20 000 tons of fresh fruit a year (this excludes the annual local consumption of 20 000 tons of juice, 15 000 tons of achar and 10 000 tons of dried fruit).
We have been consuming mangoes for more than 6 000 years, having originated in north eastern India and north western Myanmar and Bangladesh and later spreading to the rest of Asia. They later spread to South America, the Philippines and West Africa and are now cultivated commercially throughout tropical and subtropical areas.
In several cultures, its fruit and leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings, public celebrations and religious ceremonies.
Mangoes are rich in a variety of phytochemicals, nutrients and high in anti-oxidants. The fruit pulp is high in prebiotic dietary fiber, vitamin C, polyphenols and provitamin A carotenoids.
They are also high in beta-carotene which may help slow the aging process, reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, improve lung function, and reduce complications associated with diabetes.
Try out some of our wonderful mango recipes:
Start off with this beautiful and funky champagne and mango coriander cocktail.
Make a quick and easy chicken and mango curry for dinner that's fun and tasty.
This prawn, mango and butternut curry is so easy, you can make it in half an hour.
What's cooking blogs about her summer chicken and mango salad.
Cool down with this refreshing mango ice cream.
Try this exotic mango and prawn salad for a fancy lunch or light supper.
These marinated lamb kebabs with a mango salsa will have you dancing around the braai.
How about some coconut ice cream with mango syrup? Delicious!
For all the vegans out there, here is a to-die-for mango-gooseberry cheesecake.
And a simple but kicking mangoes with chilli caramel syrup.
Do you have any mango recipes to share? Submit a recipe and we'll put it on the site. Don't forget to include your picture, we love that.
- Caro de Waal