It’s probably safe to say, that when asked which fruit is the most favorite fruit in the world, the majority of Americans and Canadians would acknowledge with apples or bananas. That response would be normal, but far from accurate.
To the astonishment of most North Americans, mangoes are consumed worldwide by a factor of three to one over bananas and ten to one over apples. Although mangoes are still carefully to be exotic fruits in America, ranking as estimate 24 of the top 25 fruits consumed in the Us, they are carefully to be staples in India, South Asia, China, and Latin America; often being referred to as “the king of the fruits”. Evidently, those in the many far corners of the world have learned something that has yet to be discovered in North America!
There are over 2,000 separate varieties of mangoes fluctuating in size from a few ounces to as much as four pounds. One thing they all have in base is their nutritional value; mangoes are a remarkable source of vitamins C and E, niacin, potassium, iron, and beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body.
The fresh, ripe mango is a very juicy and sweet fruit with a unique and yummy taste. Some mangoes have a soft and pulpy texture similar to an over-ripe plum, while others have a firmer flesh similar to that of a cantaloupe.
Mangoes are widely used in chutney, fruit bars, cereal products, juices, pies, ice creams, and even milk shakes. Although a diminutive messy due to their high juice content, they can be enjoyed plainly by slicing the fruit as you would a peach or pear.
Okay, now that we know what the most favorite fruit in the world is, we must rule from where in the world these mangoes come. Mangoes are grown throughout the tropics but India is by far the largest producer and consumer of mangoes in the world. In fact, for more than 6,000 years, mango trees have been a status symbol in India. Behind India are other areas within South Asia and parts of Australia. It wasn’t until the 19th century that mangoes were introduced to parts of Africa, South America, Hawaii, and Mexico.
For years, India has been unsuccessfully negotiating the exportation of mangoes to the Us, however just recently some agreements have been finalized, clearing the way for exportation of mangoes from India to the Us. In return, they will allow the Us to export peas, beans, almonds, and would you believe, Harley Davidson motorcycles to India. Of those mangoes that currently make their way to the Us and Canada, approximately 80% come from Mexico with the majority being grown in the Mexican state of Nayarit which is on the same latitude as Hawaii.
Nayarit, one of Mexico’s 31 states, is settled along the Pacific Ocean having its southern border with the state of Jalisco. The gorgeous traveler destination and resignation society of Puerto Vallarta lies at the border of these two states with its uptown area or El Centro settled in Jalisco and Nuevo Vallarta settled in Nayarit. Puerto Vallarta is settled at the northern end of the Mexican Riviera and just recently, Fonatur, the National Tourism and development Board of Mexico, has coined the term Riviera Nayarit for that section of pristine and majestic Pacific shoreline in the state of Nayarit. As a note of interest, Fonatur has recently earmarked billions of dollars for a 15 year development agenda that will consist of more than 20,000 new condos and villas with the related infrastructure. This whole area is surrounded by mango orchards where approximately 1.5 million metric tons of mangoes are grown annually, development Mexico the third largest producer of mangoes after India and China.
After vacationing in Vallarta two or three times a year for 15 years we decided to move there in 1997 and make Vallarta our permanent resignation destination. We bought our dream villa on the mountainside with a panoramic view of Banderas Bay in an area known as the Beverly Hills of Vallarta. One of our first projects was to landscape the ½ acre mountainside lot. With an plentifulness of tropical flowers and fruit trees available, the choice of plants was difficult and somewhat overwhelming.
After living in the States for 55 years, we were virtually oblivious to the qualities that mangoes had to offer. However, due to their plentifulness in the local supermarkets, we decided to give them a try. To our surprise, they were really delicious; perhaps great than any fruit we’d ever had! A decade later, after enjoying a constant contribute of mangoes for ten years, it’s hard to fantasize that we went a lifetime without enjoying mangoes and that so many other North Americans have also missed out on this experience.
Okay, back to the landscaping project. Since we were introduced to the numerous useful qualities that the mangoes offered, we decided to plant some mango trees and were directed to a nursery in Nayarit, about 10 miles from home. The nursery was settled on the edge of a huge mango orchard where mangoes grew as far as the eye could see.
The owners of the orchard / nursery gave us a short presentation on mangoes, briefly outlining the differences in the middle of the varieties grown there. After the presentation, they asked us why we were buying mango trees. We informed them that we loved the taste of mangoes and were landscaping our new yard and conception it would be nice to have fresh mangoes available. As is so typical in Mexico, rather than selling us some mango trees, they recommend we save the time, hassle, and money and just help ourselves to the mangoes. They pointed out to the orchard and indicated that there were millions of mangoes and that we could have all that we wanted for free; they would even help us fill up the car if we needed help! We never did buy those trees but do have an unlimited contribute of those yummy mangoes!
That was one of our first lessons learned in Vallarta as it pertains to the Mexican hospitality. It’s no wonder that Puerto Vallarta was premium as the friendliest resort destination in the world by a recent explore of Conde Nast readers. One of the reasons for the friendliness of the area is probably due to its exquisite climate. Not only exquisite for mangoes, but with an average daily temperature of 73°F for seven months of the year, it’s exquisite for its residents.
In summarizing, if you’re concerned in sampling some of the most favorite fruit in the world, you might just want to visit the most favorite resort destination in the world, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and have some real fun while sipping your mango margarita!