The Dominican Republic is a country of fruit abundance. And the Dominican mango is one of the most popular in the Dominican Republic. Mango is a famous fruit – and we will tell you why everyone loves it.
Originally there was no mango in the Dominican Republic – it was grown in India, and only in the XIX century brought to the Caribbean. The plant took root and its fruit became an integral part of the Dominican fruit plate.
Today there are a large number of mango plantations in the Dominican Republic. Fans of this fruit should definitely visit them and try a Dominican mango that was still warming on a branch under the gentle rays of the sun yesterday.
A ripe mango has bright, juicy flesh and tastes very rich honey-sweet or sour-sweet. The most common varieties in the Dominican Republic are the Indian (rounded, red with yellow) and Indochinese (elongated, green-colored mangoes). To bring mango home as a guest, it is better to choose green varieties – such mangoes have a better chance to arrive unharmed.
The mango season in the Dominican Republic begins in April and ends in September. Only in one city of Bani the fruit grows all year round. Therefore, Bani is rightfully considered the mango capital. The city is surrounded by mango orchards, and from local vendors you can buy the most delicious and flavorful fruit in the country at very low prices.
Prices for fruit in the Dominican Republic are very democratic: in summer you can buy a kilogram of mango for only a couple of dollars.
Mango begins its history in Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. The name “mango” comes from the Tamil word “mangkaya”, which means “merry man”. When Portuguese traders settled in West India, they adopted the name as “manga” and then began calling the fruit “mango”. Later, the Portuguese brought mangoes to the Caribbean.
Mango trees grow to a height of 20 meters and some grow to 30 meters. They need hot periods to produce a good crop, and in the Dominican Republic they get it. There are over 1,000 different varieties of mangoes, the most popular being Tommy Atkins, Haden, Kent, Kate, Ataulfo and Francis. The main center of mango cultivation in the Dominican Republic is the Bani area on the south coast, known for its large red and green mangoes called Banilejo. Every year, a mango festival is held in this place, which is attended by thousands of people who want to try different varieties of mangoes.
Benefits and harms of Mango
Mango are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and contain an enzyme with stomach soothing properties similar to papain found in papayas. These soothing enzymes not only aid digestion but also give a feeling of satiety. Mangoes have also been linked to lowering blood sugar levels in obese people. Although it does not lead to weight loss, regular consumption of mangoes has a positive effect on blood glucose levels. Since mangoes are rich in magnesium and potassium, yet low in sodium, it is another natural way to lower blood pressure. Mangoes contain vitamin B6, which is essential for maintaining and improving brain function. Vitamin B6 and other B vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy brain neurotransmitters, as well as helping to maintain a good mood and promote quality deep sleep. In addition, mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, which helps strengthen the immune system. Beta-carotene in the body is converted into vitamin A, and that helps the body to fight free radicals that can harm health. As you can see, mangoes have a huge number of useful properties! But are there properties that are not useful? Let’s find out!
In some cases, mango can cause allergies. Since mangoes are from the same family as pistachios or cashews, it is better to avoid mangoes if you are allergic to these products. Mangoes also contain a small amount of urushinol, which can cause dermatitis in people who are sensitive to it. If you have kidney problems, consuming too much potassium (and mangoes have plenty of it) can be dangerous. This is because the kidneys have to go into overdrive to remove excess potassium from the blood. Lastly, mango does not pair well with alcohol. It makes it difficult to eliminate ethyl alcohol from the body. Such a mixture can cause a number of ailments. Be careful!
How to choose a ripe mango
First of all, you should choose a good fruit. This may seem like a daunting task, since you can’t be guided by color. But there are a few universal rules:
Smell the fruit. A ripe mango has a strong fruity flavor. But unripe fruits are practically odorless. Already rotten ones have a distinct odor of alcohol.
The rind of the mango should be smooth and shiny, without dents and softened areas
When you press on the fruit, a dent should form, which immediately evens out. This means the fruit is ripe!
If you do buy an unripe fruit, try wrapping it in dark paper and leaving it at room temperature for a few days.
HOW TO EAT MANGO
Carefully cut the fruit into three parts – the core with the pit and the two halves with the pulp. Try to make the cut as close to the pit as possible. In each half with pulp, use a knife to make incisions in the form of a lattice, without touching the rind. Then turn the slices inside out and cut the cubes into a plate.
Interesting facts about mango
- Mango is called the “king of fruits”.
- From Sanskrit mango translates as “great fruit”.
- In hot countries, mango is used to make wine.
- Mango trees can bear fruit for up to 300 years.
- Today there are about 400 varieties of mango in the world.
- India harvests about 13.5 million tons of the fruit a year.
- Mango is a symbol of love, happiness and female fertility.
- In India, the mango tree is considered sacred and capable of granting wishes.
- Hindus brush their teeth with sprigs of mango tree during sacred festivals.
- The leaves of the mango tree are poisonous to cattle.
Dominican Mango season
On forums and in reviews of vacations in the Dominican Republic, you can see a lot of reports about how tourists were dissatisfied with the lack of mango on the buffet or on the contrary were pleased with its presence. Some wonder why they had no mango on the buffet in a luxury hotel, while in another cheaper hotel guests were eating this fruit. But it’s really not hard to explain. Availability of this or that fruit in the hotel depends on the season. Believe me, mango in the Dominican Republic is not so expensive that even a 4-star hotel can not offer its guests this fruit. So the availability of mango in the restaurants of many hotels depends primarily on the time of year.
When does mango begin to ripen in the Dominican Republic? It is traditionally believed that the mango season in the Dominican Republic starts right after Easter. In practice, the mango season in this country lasts from May to August. At this time of the year mango is present on the buffet table in almost any hotel. Nevertheless, the first varieties of mangoes in the Dominican Republic ripen in March.
I should note that mangoes in the Dominican Republic are grown not only on plantations. Many villagers have at least one mango tree of their own, and some Dominicans even have a small farm.
Dominican Mango exports
The Dominican Republic exports 17 million kilograms of mango per year to a wide variety of countries around the world, such as continental Europe (52%), the United Kingdom (41%), the United States (4%), and Canada (2%).
Mango Festival in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has an annual mango festival called EXPOMANGO. It is held in June in the town of Bani. During the mango festival in the Dominican Republic, the following activities are organized: exhibitions and fairs, talks and conferences, plantation tours, competitions, tastings, artistic and cultural presentations, exhibitions of equipment, machinery and technology used in the cultivation and harvesting of mangoes.
The institutions that organize EXPOMANGO are: the Dominican Mango Cooperative (PROMANGO), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Dominican Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Research (IDIAF), the Mayor’s Office of Bath, the Center for the Development of Agriculture and Forestry (CEDAF), the Agricultural and Forestry Research Council and the Ministry of Tourism. The Dominican Mango Festival is a landmark event for the country, so it is often visited by tourists as well.
What makes Dominican mangoes unique compared to mangoes from other regions?
Dominican mangoes are renowned for their exceptional flavor, fragrance, and vibrant color. The unique combination of the country’s tropical climate, rich soil, and careful cultivation practices contributes to the distinct taste and quality of Dominican mangoes. These mangoes are often described as incredibly sweet and juicy, with a perfect balance of acidity. Their rich aroma and velvety texture set them apart, making them a sought-after variety in international markets.
When is the prime mango season in the Dominican Republic?
The peak mango season in the Dominican Republic typically spans from late April to early August. During this time, mango trees are laden with ripe fruit, and various mango varieties are harvested. Mango enthusiasts consider this period the best time to enjoy the widest variety of high-quality Dominican mangoes. Due to the country’s favorable tropical climate, the consistent warmth and occasional rains during these months contribute to the optimal growth and flavor development of the mangoes.
What are some popular mango varieties grown in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic boasts an impressive range of mango varieties, each with its own unique flavor profile and characteristics. Some popular varieties grown in the country include:
Francis: Known for its buttery texture and sweet, tropical flavor with hints of citrus. It has a distinct, elongated shape and a yellowish-green skin that may show reddish blushes.
Haden: One of the earliest varieties in the season, Haden mangoes are medium to large with a vibrant red and green skin. They have a sweet and tangy flavor.
Kent: With a sweet and rich taste, Kent mangoes are characterized by their large size, greenish-yellow skin with red blushes, and minimal fiber content.
Keitt: These mangoes are known for their late-season availability. They have a mild, sweet flavor, and their green skin doesn’t always change color as they ripen.
Tommy Atkins: A widely recognized variety, Tommy Atkins mangoes have a mild, slightly tangy taste. They are large, with a green and red skin coloration.
Ataulfo (Honey) Mango: While not exclusive to the Dominican Republic, Ataulfo mangoes are also cultivated here. They are small, with a creamy texture and a distinctive sweet and buttery flavor.