First and Foremost…

…Is is “mangos” or “mangoes”…..???After not too much consideration, Mango Maven is going with “mangoes” because the dictionary people/authorities list “oes” as the first choice for the plural.

However,  “os” is also listed leaving all sides to wonder.  Where is Dan Quayle when you need him most?  (He did kinda get the raw deal on that potato deal.  D*mn cue cards anyway!)

Whatever the case – “oes” or “os”….MangoMaven is most comfy with “MANGOES!”

S Mangoes and their place on planet Earth

In case the botanist in you needs to know…

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Anacardiaceae flowing plants bearing fruits that are drupes and some being highly poisonous. Examples: cashew, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, pistachio, smoke tree (native to southeastern USA), and marula (native to Africa). And btw, need a primer on pronouncing Anacardiaceae?   Go to:
  • Genus: Mangifera
  • Species: M. indica
  • Binomial Name: Mangifera indica

There.  Now you know!

“Mango” in many languages. Just because.






mangue, manguier

Galician, Portuguese

English, Spanish, German




Indonesian, Malay




Russian, Serbian, Ukranian





Where do Mangoes come from? (Heaven, right?) How did mangoes get to the USA?

The real answers to both questions make kind of a long story. And thanks to Julia Morgan’s efforts in decades past, I can tell you the story today. However, since this is a blog, here’s an abbreviated version of Julia’s original research. And if you’ve forgotten your geography, no problem. Just click below on any map for a quick visual review!

A) Mangoes are native to southern Asia, particularly eastern India, Myanmar (formerly Burma), and the Andaman Islands.

B) Mangoes have been cultivated and loved since Ancient times.

C) Buddhist monks likely took mangoes on voyages to Malaya and eastern Asia in the 4th and 5th Centuries B.C.

D) The Persians introduced mangoes to East Africa around the 10th Century.

E) Mangoes were cultivated in the East Indies before the earliest visits of the Portuguese, who introduced them to both the Brazilians and West Africans early in the 16th Century.

F) After becoming established in Brazil, mangoes were carried to the West Indies, first planted in Barbados about 1742 then later in the Dominican Republic.

G) Mangoes reached Jamaica about 1782.

H) Mangoes have been grown in Puerto Rico since about 1750.

I) Mangoes showed up in Mexico (from the Philippines and the West Indies) in the early 19th Century.

J) In 1833, Dr. Henry Perrine shipped seedling mango plants from Yucatan to Cape Sable, Florida, but the plants died after he was killed by Indians!

K) Mango seeds were imported into Miami from the West Indies by a Dr. Fletcher in 1862 or 1863. Two trees grew to large size and one was still bearing fruit in 1910 and is believed to have been the parent of the ‘No. 11’ mango which was planted for many years thereafter.

L) In the late 186o’s, mango seeds were planted south of Coconut Grove, Florida; the trees prospered until around 1909, producing the ‘Peach’ or ‘Turpentine’ variety.

M) In 1872, a seedling of ‘No. 11’ from Cuba was planted in Bradenton, Florida. In 1877 and 1879, W.P. Neeld made successful plantings on the west coast but they didn’t survive the January freeze in 1886.

N) Hawaii’s earliest record of the mango was the introduction of several small plants from Manila in 1824. Three plants were brought from Chile in 1825. In 1899, grafted trees from Indian varieties were imported. Seedlings became widely distributed over the six major islands.

O) In 1885, seeds of India’s ‘Bombay’ mango were brought from Key West, Florida to Miami, Florida and resulted in two trees which were productive for at least 25 years.

P) George B. Cellon started extensive propagation of the ‘Haden’ and in 1900 shipped the fruits to northern markets. The Haden has its own story. Briefly: The Haden is a descendant of a lone surviving tree of unknown variety hailing from India. The tree fostered many offspring in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and southeastern Florida. Captain Haden planted the unknown variety in Miami. The trees fruited after his death and his widow named the tree that bore the best fruit “Haden.”

Q) P.J. Wester conducted many experiments in budding, grafting and inarching from 1904 to 1908.

R) Shield-budding on a commercial scale was achieved by Mr. Orange Pound of Coconut Grove, Florida in 1909. Shield budding was a pioneer breakthrough which gave strong impetus to mango growing, breeding, and dissemination.

S) From the early 1900s onward, enthusiastic introduction of many mango varieties by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry and nurserymen followed; the mango grew steadily in popularity and importance!

T) The Reasoner Brothers Nursery imported many mango varieties and was largely responsible for the ultimate establishment of the mango on the West Coast.

U) A mango seed from Guatemala was planted in California around 1880: a few mango trees have borne fruit in California’s warmest locations with careful protection from low temperatures.

V) Altogether, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made 528 introductions from India, the Philippines, the West Indies and other sources from 1899 to 1937. Propagation of new varieties has been going on ever since.

W) Mango tree acreage initially expanded in Florida, but the growing population – together with increased land values and production costs – made commercial real estate developments more financially desirable. As a result, large groves of mangoes in Florida have been upended and subdivided. 🙁

X) With seeds brought from India, Ceylon, the East Indies and the Philippines, mango cultivation in Australia began among early settlers in North Queensland. In 1875, 40 varieties from India were set out in a single plantation. Over the years, commercial production and culture has extended to subtropical Western Australia.

Y) There is no record of the introduction of the mango into South Africa but a plantation was set out in Durban about 1860.

Z) Today, Florida remains the USA’s center of mango research and cultivation.

FOR SURE More Than You Wanted to Know!

Here’s a fun word:  Drupe.  Yep, drupe. Say it and let your fish lips go wild!  Drupe.  Drupe. And…another Drupe.  See, I told you it was a fun word.   (Fruit geeks rejoice ’cause you already knew about “drupe” and have been saying it for years.)    But did you know mangoes are drupes?  (probably)

“Drupe” in a nutshell:  (pun intended) A fruit whose outer fleshy part surrounds a shell (the pit) with a seed inside.  Easy.

Along with the almighty mango, drupes include coffee, olive, various palms, pistachio, almond, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, and plum.  Apparently, I’ve eaten a lot of drupes in my lifetime.

Now you know.  Done!

Haden Mangoes Revisited

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Mango Varieties in US Markets

Dear Fellow Mango lovers: Every once in awhile I have to revise an earlier opinion – and this is one of those times. In my earlier post on Haden mangoes, I described them as a 3rd runner up to Kent and Manila mangoes. While I still do favor Kents and Ataulfos, I recently had some Hadens that were TRULY superb – and most importantly – they contained almost no fibrous flesh. That Hadens typically contain some amount of fibrous flesh was the main reason that I had been previously been luke-warm on them.


The Hadens that altered my opinion were organic; maybe this had something to do with the high quality of the mango eating experience:  the flesh was incredibly juicy and flavorful…and abundant.  That’s one thing the Hadens (like Kents) offer is a lot of yummy flesh – especially compared to the smaller Manilas.    The wee bit of fiber that *was there* was not a distraction to an amazing real deal mango eating extravaganza.

My new bottom line:  if you can find a nice batch of organic Haden mangoes, you will likely be very pleased with the quality if you eat them at their prime.  Note the ripe specimen above.  It has a blushy-pinky-peachy color on much of the surface – and it has little wrinkles, which means it’s prime for eating.

Series Navigation

Holy Haitian Mango, Batman!

Mango Calories…How Many Are There Anyway?

I love writing the Good News. And I’ll give it to you early. A cup of sliced mangoes contains approximately 100 – 110 calories. Why the range? Because every mango variety is slightly different. Not a big deal.


For mango slices or WHATEVER. I’m talking about serious measuring cup nirvana here.

Additionally, it’s helpful to know that 1 cup of sliced mangoes = 2 servings of fruit.

In a subsequent post, we’ll delve into the area of mango nutrition, but first just know that:

  • Mangoes add color and texture to your diet.
  • Mangoes are nutritious in any form – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced.
  • Mangoes provide fiber that helps fill you and keep your digestive system happy.
  • Mangoes are naturally low in calories.
  • Eating plenty of fruits and veggies (and mangoes!!!) may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
  • Mangoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, so you feel healthy and energized.
  • Mango varieties have varied growing seasons, keeping you in good mango company almost year round.
  • Mangoes are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack. Dried mangoes are especially easy to take on-the-go.
  • If you live in a warmer climate, like Florida, you can grow your own mango tree and overdose on their nutritional goodness for practically nothing. (just water and a tree from a nursery)
  • Mangoes are nutritious AND delicious! (we’ve covered the latter quite a bit thus far, but it never hurts to say it again!)

BTW, I’ve procured a hot little coupon for my fruit loving friends… Enjoy! 🙂

Mango Nutrition – A Story That May Surprise You

woman I know once told me that she grew up on mangoes & rice.  And she meant it literally.  She grew up in the Philippines where both rice and mangoes are abundant – and she was a super fussy eater. But… she LOVED mangoes and rice.  As such, mangoes & rice were what she predominantly ate for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  So while the rest of us may think of rice & mangoes as a dessert, they were her staple.  I remember thinking to myself something along the lines of “that couldn’t have been very healthy.”   But there she was, standing in front of me…looking healthy and of normal height.  So much for any stunted growth thoughts that might have sneaked into my brain. Hmmm.

mango nutrition

Mango Nutrition – Beautiful Inside & Out!

Well as it turns out, it may have been more okay than I originally imagined.   Here’s at least part of the reason:

Let’s talk mangoes & the 9 essential amino acids.   Most everyone understands that through one’s diet,  if one doesn’t get the essential amino acids, something is going to go amiss on the health front.   Mangoes are interesting from that perspective.  While one serving of mango (1 cup) doesn’t have *high quantities* of any of the essential amino acids, the distribution among the 9 is very respectable, being low in only one area:  Methionine Cysteine – aka M + C.   And wouldn’t you know it, but breakfast grains & cereals (including white rice!) are one of the recommended complements to a food low in M + C.   So when you put mangoes & rice together, you have the 9 essential amino acids covered!  Crazy stuff, huh?

For those of you interested – here’s a list of the 9 essentials:  Check them out on Wikipedia or some other source – to go into detail about each is definitely beyond the scope of this post.

  • Histidine – aka H
  • Isoleucine – aka I
  • Leucine – aka L
  • Lysine  – aka K (not a typo)
  • Methionine Cysteine – aka M + C
  • Phenylalanine + Tyrosine – aka F + Y
  • Threonine – aka T
  • Tryptophan = aka W
  • Valine – aka V

The other nutritional benefits of one serving of mango include:

  • A respectable 3.0 grams of fiber – which amounts to 12% of the Daily Value for the average person.
  • Just over 100 calories
  • 76% of  the Daily Value of Vitamin C
  • 25% of the Daily Value of Vitamin A
  • 11% of the Daily Value of Vitamin B6
  • 9% of the Daily Value of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
  • 9% of Daily Value of Copper
  • 7% of Daily Value of Potassium
  • low in the bad boys:  saturated fat, cholesterol & sodium.

So my pal who grew up on mangoes & rice wins the prize for surprising us all!  Vegetarians & vegans are *great* at combining foods to make a complete essential amino acid profile.  But I bet there aren’t too many of them out there who would think about mangoes & rice for said purposes.

Thanks to my mango gal pal for inspiring me to look into the mango/rice combo and for helping me to change my thinking about mangoes as a source of nutrition beyond the obvious – “high in Vitamin C – high in fiber”  mantra.

Explore Mango Varieties in Pictures – What Could be Better??

Explore Mango Varieties in Pictures – What Could be Better??

Alright everyone – you asked for it, so here it is.  All the mango pics all together in one place so you can see what the various varieties look like.

This first post of pictures is mangoes that are widely available in most the USA; I’ll add more posts later for other regions.  Florida and Hawaii will each get their own post because they are so darn special.  (truly)  🙂

Ataulfo Mango AKK Honey or Champagne Mango

Ataulfo Mango AKA Honey or Champagne Mango


Keitt Mango

Keitt Mango with banana for size comparison


Haitian Mango - Francine Mango - Madame Francis Mango

Ataulfo Mango over a Madame Francis Mango (Haitian Mango) over $1 for size comparison


Box of Costco Kent Mangoes

Kent Mangoes


8 Kent Mangoes Unripe to Ripe

8 Kent Mangoes – Unripe to Ripe


Haden Mangoes

Haden Mangoes

I have to add a picture of Tommy Atkins mangoes and then the USA list will be complete!  (except Florida & Hawaii)



How to Tell if a Mango is Ripe: A Foolproof Metric

The topic of mango ripeness is an *important* one because unlike some other fruits, mango varieties come in a wide range of colors. Some varieties are green, some are reddish, some are pinky or orange-ish. Some are pure yellow.  Along with the wide range of colors comes confusion – if you can’t use color as a judge of ripeness, then what can you use?

Here are the two foolproof metrics that should BOTH be present.

1) The mango should be soft to the touch; it should have some give.
2) The mango should have little wrinkles here and there.  (not all over the place, this would probably translate to a little too ripe)

If you’re about to eat a mango that has bases 1 & 2 covered, chances are, unless you’re eating a Tommy Atkins mango, you’re going to have a good mango experience. (Read why you should avoid the Tommy variety here.)

Since it’s kind of hard to know what the wrinkles might look like if you haven’t seen them before, here’s a couple of photos to help you out.  The Haden on the top photo is a little more obvious than the Ataulfos below.

That said, see the subtle wrinkles on the Ataulfo mango that is sitting on the top of the others?  (the one closest to the top edge of the photo)  And the one in the lower left foreground?   You can see the wrinkles forming.  I cut these open shortly after the picture was taken and they were in an absolutely perfect state of ripeness.  If you have mangoes that have reached this stage but need a day or two to eat them, stick them in the fridge and that will hold them over for a bit, but not forever!


Haden Mango

Haden Mango in a Perfect State of Ripeness



Ripe Ataulfo Mangoes