Jan 28, 2012

Mango, The Most Popular Fruit In The World!

Hawaiian Mango
Mangoes are native to Southeast Asia and India, the mango is the most widely consumed fresh fruit in the world, with worldwide production exceeding 17 million metric tons a year. When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled due to lack of refrigeration. By the 18th century, the word "mango" became a verb meaning "to pickle". Mangoes have been cultivated in Southeast Asia for thousands of years and reached East Asia between the fifth and fourth centuries BC. By the 10th century AD, cultivation had begun in East Africa. Cultivation came later to Brazil, the West Indies and Mexico, where growing conditions were better. The mango is now cultivated in most frost-free tropical and warmer subtropical climates; more than a third of the world's mangoes are cultivated in India alone, with the second being China. Their cultivators include North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, south, west and central Africa, Australia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Southeast Asia. Though India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for less than one percent of the international mango trade. Mexico is now the largest exporter of mangoes in the world. Mangoes account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide.

Mangoes are widely used in cuisine, worldwide. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, pickles, or side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili, or soy sauce. Ripe mangoes are typically eaten fresh. Under-ripe mangoes can be ripened by placing them in brown paper bags. They will then keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about four or five days. Ripe mangoes, which are commonly eaten fresh, have a thick, bitter tasting skin that it is typically not eaten. Ripe mangoes have many other culinary uses, such as curries, jams, and preserves. Mangoes are used to make juices, mango nectar, smoothies, and as a flavoring and major ingredient in ice cream and sorbetes, just to mention a few.

Mango Chutney
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Five-Spice Blend, recipe follows
1 small red chili, minced
1 mango, peeled and pit removed
juice of 1/2 lime
a pinch salt
a pinch sugar

Put the basil, ginger, vinegar, cardamom, Five-Spice Blend, chili, mango, lime juice, salt and sugar in a blender and pulse until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

The Best Mango Bread
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups fresh mango, diced
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. In a separate bowl, combine sugars, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and mango. Mix in dry ingredients. Fold in coconut, raisins and nuts. Pour into 2 lightly greased loaf pans or one greased bundt pan. Bake for 55 minutes until done. Makes 2 loaves or 12-15 servings.

Mango Tango Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups pureed fresh mango
2 whole eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 of a 15 fl. oz. can of coconut cream (shake can just before opening)
1, 14 fluid ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut

In a food processor puree fresh mango. Add the rest of the ingredients except the coconut. Blend together. Pour into your ice cream maker and add the coconut. Process until frozen to a soft consistency which should take about 1/2 hour. Freeze for several hours until solid. Makes just over 2 pints.

Mango Melon Freeze
3 cups chopped mangoes (peeled, pitted)
1 cup chopped cantaloupe
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup lime juice
a pinch of salt

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and place in the refrigerator for an hour, just enough time for the flavors to meld. Scrape the mango-melon mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Serve in frozen martini glasses with a sprig of mint. Makes 8 servings.

Mango Cobbler
1/2 cup butter or margarine melted
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
dash salt
1 egg
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 cups firm but ripe sliced mango
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
whipped cream

Place melted butter in a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Make a batter from the flour, baking powder, salt, egg, sugar and milk and pour over melted butter. DO NOT STIR.

Mix the mangoes with the 2 sugars and place evenly over the batter.

Bake in a 350˚F oven 45 to 60 minutes OR until golden and tested done. Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

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