Mangoes, also written mangos, are a tropical stone fruit much loved for their sweet taste and use in many popular recipes. There are thousands of different varieties of mangoes, including varieties that have been selectively bred to grow in different climates. Mangoes grow on relatively large trees, known as mango trees, which can reach 40 m (130 ft) tall. A mango tree begins to produce about 4-6 years after planting and can continue to produce for many years. In fact, some specimens have been known to produce fruit for longer than 300 years! The fruit grows on the end of a long stem with two or more fruit per stem relatively common. It takes about 3-6 months for the fruit to ripen and the final color depends on the variety.
Where did mangoes originate from?
Mangoes originated on the Indian subcontinent where they have been grown for many thousands of years. They began to spread to East Asia around the fifth and fourth centuries BC and moved all the way to East Africa by the 10th century AD. The mango was later transported to many tropical countries such as Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean where they are still grown today.
Where are mangoes grown today?
The largest producer of mangoes is India at approximately 16.3 million metric tonnes, followed by China at 4.3 million tonnes, Thailand at 2.5 million tonnes and Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesia and Brazil all producing more than 1 million tonnes. Smaller crops are grown throughout many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.
Did you know?
Despite being the largest producer, India only makes up 1% of the international mango trade. This means that most mangoes produced in the country are also eaten there!
The mango is the national fruit of India, Philippines and Pakistan.