Mangoes are a stone fruit originating in Southeast Asia that have a yellow-orange edible pulpy center. The flesh of the fruit is edible while the skin, pit and seeds are not. Mangoes contain high levels of vitamin A and C and are eaten raw as well as used in cooking and baking.


Eating

Mangoes can be sliced in a variety of ways and you can even purchase a slicer designed for cutting mangoes. Stand the mango, stem side down, on a cutting board and slice the mango about one-quarter of an inch from the center on both sides. The remaining middle portion contains the inedible pit and edible, but not typically eaten, seeds. The pulp from the two sliced portions is edible but the skin is not.

History

Humans in Southeast Asia have eaten mangoes since 4000 B.C. Traders brought mango seeds to Africa and North and South America around 300 A.D. Because they require a tropical climate, Florida, California, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are the only places in the U.S. capable of growing mangoes.

Nutrition

In one cup (about 165 grams), mangoes have approximately 100 calories and one-half of a gram of fat. They are rich in both vitamin A and C, providing 35 percent the average adult’s daily requirement of vitamin A and 100 percent of vitamin C. They contain 22 grams of sugar.

Uses

Mangoes are typically eaten raw. They are also used in desserts, such as a pies and tarts, or blended into smoothies. The juice from mangoes is a popular drink in Southeast Asia.