Mango (African Mango)

Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world—consumed most commonly worldwide, and the most cultivated fruit in the tropical world, with over 2,000 varieties.

History and Cultivation in Africa

Mangoes were domesticated in India around 400 B.C, and by the 10th century, had made their way to East Africa where they were cultivated. In addition, Portuguese traders brought mango seeds along their route, spreading the trees to their African colonies in the 16th century.

Mango Production Areas

Mango is grown across most of Africa and there are over 100 different varieties of mangoes grown and harvested across many African countries. Although Nigeria remains Africa’s top producer of the fruit occupying the position of the 8th largest producer of mangoes (followed by Kenya, Egypt and Madagascar), almost all of its yearly harvests are consumed locally or rot away as waste.

The mango industry of South Africa has also grown very rapidly in the past decade, with the north eastern part of the country accounting for most of the production.

Cultivars

Many types of mangoes are cultivated across Africa including the following popular species:

  1. Tommy Atkins, which are medium to large sized thick skinned mangoes. These mangoes are mild and sweet and are very versatile.
  2. Keitt, which are rounded and yellow in colour. These mangoes are sweet and fruity, and have a juicy flesh. They are best enjoyed eaten as a fruit or pickled.
  3. Cherry mango, which is also called sheri or cherie. These mangoes are green in colour and are elliptical in shape. They have a rich and spicy taste, with an aftertaste of Kerosene or turpentine. These mangoes are best for juicing or eaten as a fruit.
  4. Kent mangoes are greenish-yellowish in colour, and are very juicy. These mangoes have a fibre-less flesh, with a large oval shape and are perfect for juicing and drying.
  5. Kesar mangoes which are smaller in size with round shape. These mangoes are my favourite mangoes and they have a very smooth skin, a dull appearance with patches of yellow, are very sweet, and dripping with juice.
  6. Honey Mangoes, which have an elongated and pointed curve shape at one end. These mangoes are very sweet with a very aromatic flavour, with a flesh that goes very soft as it ripens.

Mango (African Mango) Recipes:

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