Ah yes, everyone has their own King of Fruits, but for us it is the Mango :-)
The original home of the Mango is India where it had been cultivated for at least 4000 years. And boy, are we happy to be able to grow a Mango tree in our back yard here in Florida!
Mangos are of course healthy, like all fruits, with low calories and high fiber, lots of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A and potassium, but no other fruit is so delicious.
The wonderful perfume of a ripe Mango and the juicy sweet Mango meat is simply divine. Desserts hanging on a tree just waiting to be picked and enjoyed.
The ideal climate for Mango trees is dry winters without freezes and summers with lots of rain so Florida is perfect for Mango trees. There are several different varieties that grow well in Florida, we prefer 'Carrie'.
'Carrie' is a natural small growing tree, ideal for the small suburban gardens. Its fruit is nearly fiber-less, buttery and very juicy with a hint of spicy-ness.
Read all about growing Mangos in Florida
Visit FruitScapes Video blog for the different Mangos' descriptions
Mango in the KitchenWe simply eat them fresh from the tree, and I also cube some and freeze for later. I make Mango liqueur, different Mango jams and Mango chutney.
Here's my favorite recipe for Mango-Rum jam
6 cups peeled, chopped firm-ripe Mangos
6 tablespoons strained fresh Lime juice (plus some lime zest)
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup dark rum, preferably Jamaican (divided)
2 cups granulated sugar
- Prepare 6 half-pint jars
- Combine the Mangos with the brown sugar, lime juice and about half of the rum in a large pot and stir the mixture well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Pour the fruit mixture into large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the fruit chunks start turning translucent, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring several times. If the jam becomes too thick before the fruit clarifies, add 2 or 3 tablespoons water.
- Add the granulated sugar and cook the jam rapidly over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until a spoonful placed on a chilled saucer and refrigerated for a few moments wrinkles when the saucer is tilted sharply. (Remove the pot from the heat while testing.) Stir in the remaining rum and cook the jam for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Ladle the boiling-hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Invert – since this is a high-acid recipe or hot water bath.