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Mango mania


Mango mania
Delicious king of fruits

Sweet, delicious mangoes are a dietary staple throughout The Bahamas.

From February to September the oval-shaped fruit makes its local debut. And, green or ripe, locals get their fill eating them as is or incorporating them in drinks, preserves and relishes.

Scientifically known as Mangifera indica L, there are about 60 species of mango. In The Bahamas, the early and mid-seasonal Haden and Tommy Atkins are the varieties of choice.

Mangoes grow in abundance throughout the islands but particularly on Abaco, Eleuthera, Long Island and right here on New Providence. Most mango trees are grafted from existing trees. Grafts begin to produce fruit after about two years. The fruit reaches maturity about five months after flowering.

According to Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries agronomist Stan Smith, the country harvests the fruit from more than 100 acres each year, but demand far exceeds the local supply.

Smith says the Ministry hopes to remedy this situation. “We are in the process of testing new cultivars to see if we can introduce new species of mango to the country. If everything goes as planned, we’ll have mangoes year round.”

A healthy treat
A great source of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, potassium and thiamin, mangoes pack a healthy punch. They help to lower blood pressure while strengthening the immune system and the body’s ability to heal.

Nutritionists say mangoes are loaded with antioxidants and that they lead many other fruits in this department. They’re also rich in fibre. Aside from their wonderful flavour, no wonder they are known around the world as the king of fruits.

Eating mangoes can be fun but also messy, depending on the variety. Many locals simply peel back the skin to eat the fruit. Others cut the fruit parallel to the oblong stone, near the centre. Once both sides have been cut off, score the halves in both directions and then push the skin inward, popping out the flesh in cubes, ready to eat. Or you can scoop it out with a spoon.
No matter how you eat them, you’re sure to enjoy this mouth-wateringly delicious fruit.


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