Mango ripe, mango sweet. Give me money to buy mango ripe, mango sweet. I need some money to buy mango ripe, mango sweet. Mango woman is calling out, mango ripe, mango sweeeet….
Those are the lines of a song I remember from my childhood, which was sung by the Steve Rhodes Voices Choir. I was typing up this post when the the song suddenly bubbled through to the top of my thoughts.
Mango season is tailing off here in Nigeria. I absolutely love mangoes, and they will always be part of my life. They are such a cheerful and harmonious fruit. When I lived in London, they were a staple on my weekly shopping list, despite their being pricey, all the advice about seasonal shopping and minimising patronage of longhaul imported fruit. It is always mango season somewhere in the world, and I always want to be part of it (hey Mexico, hey Philippines, hey Brazil, hey India)! Here in Nigeria, we have a few different varieties of mango, but my favourite is the Sherry Mango. I am told that the name Sherry came about as a result of mispronouncing the word cherry; and cherry because they are super sweet. Sherry mangoes despite their greenish skin, are a dark yellow, almost orangey colour on the inside, with firm flesh that holds its shape when cut. This makes them really versatile. They are absolutely divine, with their signature heady fragrance and the refreshing burst of sweetness that explodes in your mouth. I can’t possibly count how many how many mangoes I’ve eaten in the last couple of months, skin and all (the skin is REALLY good for you, look it up) but I can count how many times I’ve thought that I really ought to explore the fruit a bit more. I have recently made a Pear and Mango Crumble with Cinnamon Sugar, and also a Sherry Mango and Blackberry Torte. These are ideas that you can try really easily at home and I will definitely do a post on each of them soon. In the meantime, I will leave you with a few amazing health benefits of the mango, as complied by the foodies at the Guardian.
- Mangoes contain a store of phenolic and carotenoid compounds (gallotannins, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and more) that seem to offer some protection against several types of cancer.
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene in mango can boost your eye health, while vitamin B6 helps control homocysteine in the blood. High levels of this amino acid are associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
- The soluble fibre in mangoes slows down the release of sugar into your blood.
Mango image from http://goodfruitguide.co.uk/fruits/mangoes