Childhood Food Healthy Eats Jamaica

My Love Affair With Mangos

August 21, 2018

I love a mango, not only is it one of my absolute favorite fruits, some of my favorite childhood memories are of me climbing and hanging from mango trees in my grandparents backyard. I remember my first trip home to Jamaica after moving to Canada, it happened to be mango season and my grandmother let me gorge myself on them. She had even given me an East Indian mango (my favorite) to take with me on my flight. Unable to contain my excitement, I bit straight into it on the plane, hearing the delightful pop of the skin, as my teeth sunk into the soft and sweet flesh.

Nowadays, I rarely get a good mango. They have to be organic, or from a country I classify as safe. When I see them in the supermarket, I awkwardly smell them hoping for a hint of the signature scent of that perfect mango. It’s supposed to be sweet on the outside, the same way a pineapple should be. When I’m lucky enough to find one, I bite into the skin and devour it with child-like elation.

I keep saying I bite straight into my mangos, but what I really should say is that I also eat the skin. Something my coworkers were absolutely shocked by as I walked around our office eating one a few weeks ago. I was perplexed, I’d been doing this all of my life. I took an office poll, and almost no one admitted to eating the skin. I called my aunt and put her on speaker to have her tell all of them that yes — not only is mango skin edible, but it is where most of the nutrients are. There’s an antioxidant in the skin that fights skin cancer, it contains properties that inhibit tumor growth, reduce the risk of heart diseases and protect our livers. While mango skin might not be sweet like the meat, it’s a slightly bitter foil that offers a great contrast.

I’d contend that, if it’s a good mango, you should be eating the skin!

What I discovered on my quest to prove to my coworkers that I was doing something smart (read: not crazy), is that you can also eat the kernel that’s in the seed. If you crack a mango seed, there is apparently a kernel that has a wealth of health benefits in and of itself. It has aided in controlling hair loss, stopping dandruff, slowing early greying, as well as tresting heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. I’ll have to try to find this kernel when I find my next good mango.

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