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The mango is one of the most popular fruits and its fans enjoy it most when it is fresh and raw. Numerous types of salads can be made from the fruit, of which there are more than 1,000 varieties. Different types of mango salad can be made with other tropical fruits in a simple fruit salad, or the mango can be combined with rice for a tropical-flavored rice salad. Among the many other types of mango salad are mixtures of corn, beet and cabbage, papaya and shrimp, chicken chutney, or turkey.
A mango salad is a way to truly have a taste of the tropics and sub-tropics at home. The fruit grows on trees in hot climates, such as Florida in the United States, and in Southeast Asia, Mexico, South America, Haiti and the Caribbean. At one time the fruit was reserved for kings and queens. It was such a coveted fruit, some kings were known to abduct a rival’s royal gardener to obtain a better fruit for themselves.
Green mangoes are mangoes that hasn’t ripened yet. They are green on the outside while the fruit inside is the expected yellow-orange of a ripe mango, without the sweet ripe taste or the softer texture. Green mango salad is a dish made with this crisper fruit, and is popular in Thai cuisine when combined with shrimp, cashews and shallots. There is a Vietnamese green mango salad that in various incarnations combines the fruit with either fish sauce, soy sauce or sesame oil.
Cooking with fresh mango begins with knowing how to select a ripe fruit. The exterior should be only a bit soft, not mushy, and it should exude a pleasant fruit scent. A ripe mango, such as the kind likely to be included in a mango salad, will have a slightly yellow exterior, but sometimes it can also be red or orange or green. A mango salad can be constructed of spooned-out pieces of the stone fruit’s flesh, slices or cubed pieces. Cooks at home should be careful to never ingest the leaves because they are highly poisonous to both people and pets.
A mango salad, whether constructed with green or ripe mangoes, will deliver plenty of health benefits no matter what the fruit is paired with. It’s an excellent source of dietary fiber and potassium. It also packs a lot of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins C and A. Dieters are especially fond of the fruit because it is a low-calorie food that is filling. The mango also contains enzymes that help in digestion, just as the papaya does.
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