There are now over one thousand varieties of mangoes. They are native to the area between the Indian state of Assam and Myanmar. Another variety of mango comes from the island of Borneo. As a crop plant, it can be found on almost every continent. All over the world, people like to eat mangoes, both raw and cooked.
From Wikipedia: “Mangoes are juicy stone fruit (drupe) from numerous species of tropical trees belonging to the flowering plant genus Mangifera, cultivated mostly for their edible fruit.
The majority of these species are found in nature as wild mangoes. The genus belongs to the cashew family Anacardiaceae. Mangoes are native to South Asia, from where the "common mango" or "Indian mango", Mangifera indica, has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most widely cultivated fruits in the tropics. Other Mangifera species (e.g. horse mango, Mangifera foetida) are grown on a more localized basis.
It is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and the national tree of Bangladesh.”
Flavor and skin:
“Mangoes are generally sweet, although the taste and texture of the flesh varies across cultivars; some have a soft, pulpy texture similar to an overripe plum, while others are firmer, like a cantaloupe or avocado, and some may have a fibrous texture. ... The flavor of mango fruits is constituted by several volatile organic chemicals mainly belonging to terpene, furanone, lactone, and ester classes. Different varieties or cultivars of mangoes can have flavor made up of different volatile chemicals or same volatile chemicals in different quantities. ... The skin of unripe, pickled, or cooked mango can be consumed, but has the potential to cause contact dermatitis of the lips, gingiva, or tongue in susceptible people.” (for more information, see: Potential for contact dermatitis)
“Mangoes are widely used in cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, athanu, pickles, side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt, chili, or soy sauce. A summer drink called aam panna comes from mangoes. Mango pulp made into jelly or cooked with red gram dhal and green chillies may be served with cooked rice. Mango lassi is popular throughout South Asia, prepared by mixing ripe mangoes or mango pulp with buttermilk and sugar. Ripe mangoes are also used to make curries. Aamras is a popular thick juice made of mangoes with sugar or milk, and is consumed with chapatis or pooris. The pulp from ripe mangoes is also used to make jam called mangada. Andhra aavakaaya is a pickle made from raw, unripe, pulpy, and sour mango, mixed with chili powder, fenugreek seeds, mustard powder, salt, and groundnut oil. Mango is also used in Andhra to make dahl preparations. Gujaratis use mango to make chunda (a spicy, grated mango delicacy). ...
Mango is used to make juices, smoothies, ice cream, fruit bars, raspados, aguas frescas, pies, and sweet chili sauce, or mixed with chamoy, a sweet and spicy chili paste. It is popular on a stick dipped in hot chili powder and salt or as a main ingredient in fresh fruit combinations. In Central America, mango is either eaten green mixed with salt, vinegar, black pepper, and hot sauce, or ripe in various forms. Toasted and ground pumpkin seed (pepita) with lime and salt are eaten with green mangoes.”
“The energy value per 100 g (3.5 oz) serving of the common mango is 250 kJ (60 kcal), and that of the apple mango is slightly higher (330 kJ (79 kcal) per 100 g). Fresh mango contains a variety of nutrients (see table), but only vitamin C and folate are in significant amounts of the Daily Value.”
Potential for contact dermatitis:
“Contact with oils in mango leaves, stems, sap, and skin can cause dermatitis and anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals. Those with a history of contact dermatitis induced by urushiol (an allergen found in poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac) may be most at risk for mango contact dermatitis. Cross-reactions may occur between mango allergens and urushiol. During the primary ripening season of mangoes, contact with mango plant parts is the most common cause of plant dermatitis in Hawaii. However, sensitized individuals are still able to safely eat peeled mangos or drink mango juice.”
“Numerous phytochemicals are present in mango peel and pulp, such as the triterpene, lupeol which is under basic research for its potential biological effects. An extract of mango branch bark called Vimang, containing numerous polyphenols, has been studied in elderly people.
Mango peel pigments under study include carotenoids, such as the provitamin A compound, beta-carotene, lutein and alpha-carotene, and polyphenols, such as quercetin, kaempferol, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechins and tannins. Mango contains a unique xanthonoid called mangiferin.
Phytochemical and nutrient content appears to vary across mango cultivars. Up to 25 different carotenoids have been isolated from mango pulp, the densest of which was beta-carotene, which accounts for the yellow-orange pigmentation of most mango cultivars. Mango leaves also have significant polyphenol content, including xanthonoids, mangiferin and gallic acid.
The pigment euxanthin, known as Indian yellow, is often thought to be produced from the urine of cattle fed mango leaves; the practice is described as having been outlawed in 1908 because of malnutrition of the cattle and possible urushiol poisoning. This supposed origin of euxanthin appears to rely on a single, anecdotal source, and Indian legal records do not outlaw such a practice.”