The king of fruits continues to delight us with a creamy tinge and a blend of pine and floral taste. The fibrous fruit often tastes like tart limes.
The food of gods!
We all have spent summers with mango delights and it is indeed very close to our hearts. There are very few people who don’t love to savour mangoes. But do you know that not just humans, but the fruit is also dear to the gods? Mango is therefore called the food of gods.
The symbol of life
The tree is a symbol of love, fertility, wealth, and immortality. The leaves are used in several ceremonies and are considered auspicious. The Vedas and Upanishads refer to mango as a symbol of life as it is bright in colour.
Mangoes in Buddhism
The Jataka tales narrate the stories that center around the life of Buddha. It is believed that Buddha had performed several miracles underneath the mango tree. The Great Miracle of Shravasti is one such story. Buddhist art involves a special theme wherein the multiple images of a mango tree are portrayed. It is believed that Gautam Buddha preferred the mango grooves for rest. There was a time when Buddhist monks traveled across the world distributing mangoes.
The name: mango – where did it come from?
The term mango has its roots in the Malayalam word – manna. The tree was first discovered in the Indo – Burma region and introduced to the western world by the Portuguese. In India, the earliest evidence has been found in a 60 million-year-old fossil at Meghalaya.
Amra phal – the ancient name of India
Vedas and Upanishads call it Rasala or sahakara however the earliest name remains Amra phal which translated to Amra kaay in Tamil and gradually transitioned into maamkay. Ancient religious texts have also condemned the cutting of mango trees.
Nagzha Tarin Mewa Hindustan – the fairest fruit of India
The fruit was entitled as the fairest of all fruits in India by Amir Khusrau, the famous Persian poet. The tales of the city of Shahjahanabad revolve around delicacies like Aam Panna and aam ka lauz. It is said that the emperors awarded their cook for serving the mango delights.
Don’t judge the mango by its color
Yes, one can’t just look at the color and decide if the mango is ripe. Ripe mangoes have a tendency to give in slightly when squeezed and emit a slightly sweet and fragrant aroma from the stem end.
Mango leaves for health
Are you tired of hiccups? Try burning a few mango leaves and inhaling the smoke. This will cure throat problems and stop hiccups. Apart from this, the use of mango leaves is effective against earaches, dysentery, and respiratory problems. Tannins and anthocyanins in the leaf help with early diabetes. The leaves also possess hypotensive properties and are effective against high blood pressure.
But the leaves are toxic for cattle feed
The leaves are rich in mangiferin which is a phenolic compound. When mangiferin is consumed by the cattle in large amounts, it becomes toxic for the same.
Mangoes for art
Have you heard of the paisley pattern? The pattern has derived inspiration from the round shape of a mango with a tapering end. A few Indian languages call the pattern mankolam or carrey.
Mangoes for the nation
Mango is the national fruit of India, the Philippines, and Pakistan while the tree is the national tree of Bangladesh.
Lakhi Bagh and lakh mango
The Mughal emperor Akbar had planted around one lakh mango trees in Lakhi Bagh at Darbhanga, Bihar. The praises of mangoes are narrated in the work of the Indian poet, Kalidasa. Historians have found that Alexander had also tasted the divine flavor of the king of fruits.
The mango festival
The mouthwatering fruit is celebrated on an international level across the globe and also in India. The Delhi Haat at Pitampura adorns several varieties of fruit during the fest. It serves as a platform for farmers across the country. Various events are organized for the same like mango eating competitions, mango fruit games, and mango quizzes. The stalls adorn all the mango-based delicacies while folk songs form a part of the celebration. The festival promotes the trade of mango and mango tourism. Not just Delhi, Kolkata also celebrates the fruit through its ‘amantran’ fest.
Varieties of mango
There are more than 500 varieties of mangoes throughout the world. The most popular ones that are savoured in India shall be enlisted as Alphonso, Kesar, dasheri, Kishen bhog, Chausa, Badami, Safeda, Langra, and Neelam.
Mango seeds for taste
Have you heard of the traditional Mexican mole sauce? It is often flavored with mango seeds for a tangy taste. Adding mango seeds to curry dishes produces a distinct taste. They serve as a natural teether for babies and soothe their aching gums. Seasoning dal with unripe mango seeds adds tanginess to the dal.
Mango seeds for health
Consuming mango seed powder helps reduce cardiovascular disease and prevents hair graying.
Mango for the skin
The fruit is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants that protect the skin from the sun and prevent premature ageing. Mango butter serves as a substitute for shea and cocoa butter.
The flowers are borne in panicles. These panicles are about 16 inches long and bear several small, white flowers most of which are male while a few are bisexual. Pollination results in the formation of fruits through bees, wasps, and ants.
The heaviest mango
As per the Guinness world record, the heaviest mango weighs 4.25 kilograms and was cultivated in Colombia.
The symbol of love in India
In India, there is a custom of gifting a basket of mangoes as a gesture of friendship. Relatives often exchange the same on certain occasions.