The Mango (Known as "Aam" in Hindi), scientific name - Mangifera indica, is the national fruit of India. The fruit Mango is one of the most widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. This juicy, delicious fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. There are over 100 varieties of mangos in India, in a in different sizes, shapes and colors. It is a fleshy fruit, eaten ripe or used green for pickles etc. Mangoes, have been cultivated in India from time immemorial. Around a 3rd of world`s total mangoes are cultivated in India only. But the country consumes most of its produce and contributes only 1% to the international mango trade.
Mango, derived from the Tamil word Mangai or Mankay, as well as the Malayalam word Manna. In India, Mango fruit and leaves are sometimes used in various rituals and religious events.
Now, the National Fruit of India, International Mango Festival is now conducted in Delhi every year that displays the wide range of traditionally favorite Indian varieties along with the latest discoveries of mango varieties that are tasty, healthy and quick to bear fruits.
Interesting Facts about Mango -
- The mango is known as the 'king of fruit' throughout the world.
- The mango is one of the most cultivated fruits in tropical areas of the world.
- Mango seeds traveled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D.
- The mango tree can grow as high as 35 - 40 m (115–130 ft).They are a long living tree with some specimens having been known to still bear fruit after 300 years.
- The Mango fruit takes between three and six months to ripen.
- Mango can come in various shapes, size and colour including yellow, orange, red and green.
- Mangos are related to cashews and pistachios.
- Buddhist monks are believed to have introduced the mango to Malaysia and eastern Asia around the 5th century B.C. Legend has it that the God Buddha found tranquillity and meditated under the cool shade of a mango tree.
- Mangoes are a very common food used in a number of cuisines around the world especially in the tropics.
- Besides India, mango is the national fruit of Pakistan and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh.
- In India and several other cultures the mango fruit and leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings, public celebrations and religious ceremonies.
- A basket of mangos is considered a gesture of friendship in India.
- The seed fat from the mango seed is used to make
soap due to its high stearic acid content.