As the skin of mango turn from green to red and spreads a tempting fragrance, you know it is summer. Though there are many fruits available in the summer of Taiwan, the most popular one is always mango. Because of the weather, people in Taiwan can taste the juicy fruit for almost half a year. But have you ever pay attention to the fruit you buy? There are several mango varieties. The taste is similar: amazing. But if you savor it in the way you drink wine, you will notice there are differences among the varieties.
The first mango in Taiwan: tu mango
Mangoes are not an indigenous species in Taiwan. The first mango tree was introduced in the 17th century by the Dutch. The breed was gradually adapted to the weather of Taiwan then became “Tu Mango”. Though the size is tiny, you can smell the rich fragrance when it is ripe. You can find it in the traditional market from May to July.
It’s also popular to pickle Tu Mangoes with salt and sugar. You can find pickled mango at some street vendors in the markets. Taiwanese call it “lover’s fruit” because the sourness is associated to a love relationship.
After World War II, other breeds of mangos are introduced into Taiwan. Peasants in Taiwan are full of experimental spirit, they improve the breed by making hybrid and grafting. There are more than 30 breeds of mango in Taiwan. How many of them have you tried?
Irwin mango is also called apple mango. It’s the most popular breed. The Japanese call it the king of mango. When the bottom of the fruit shows the color red and there is some glue around the fruit head, you know it’s the sign of best taste. If you see the black spot on the mango skin, it means the mango is completely ripe.
*Harvest season: April to August
Jinhuang is about the size of a papaya. It has more pulp and finer fiber, but the smell is not as rich as Irwin. Jinhuang mangoes are widely added into the shaved ice. You can select Jinhuang which has a longer shape. Generally, the longer the shape is, the smaller would the core be, and the more pulp you can have.
*Harvest season: August to October
Keitt Mango is also known as the September mango. The size is bigger than Irwin. The colors of the skin are yellow, pink, and green. The taste is similar to Irwin but sourer. When the skin shows the color of yellow, orange, and smooth texture with tiny little black spots, it has the sweetest flavor.
*Harvest season: August to September
Hei-xiang mango has dark green skin. The skin doesn’t turn to yellow or red when it is ripe. When the skin touches soft, that means it is ripe. The flavor tastes unique, with the smell of longan. If you see them in the market, you can get one and try it.
*Harvest season: July to August
People name it xiaxue because it is as rare as the snow in summer. It is the new star in the market. There are not many peasants cultivate this breed. It combines the smell of tu mango and Irwin, and it’s sweeter than jinhuang. Because of the high quality, the price can be 3 times higher than the price of Irwin.
*Harvest season: June to July
Yu wen is a new hybrid breed of irwin and jinhuang. It has the size of jinhuang and the smell of Irwin. When the skin is red with some little black spots, it is the perfect time to enjoy yu wen mango.
*Harvest Season: May to July
The weight of guifei mango is around 1 kilogram. The size may even be bigger than your face. It can get 20 degrees on the sweetness scale of 1 to 20. It cost at least 300 NTD to buy a guifei. When it is mellowed, the skin would turn red, without black spots on the surface.
*Harvest Season: July
Though peach mango is not as so sweet as Irwin, it has a fragrance of peach. It is also called peach-mango. The breed is not widely cultivated. So if you really want to try it, you can try your luck to go to southern Taiwan and see if you can find it.
*Harvest Season: June to July
There are new breeds introduced to the market every year. Maybe there will be watermelon mango in the future, who knows? Agricultural technic in Taiwan is always amazing.
To get more information about Taiwan, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.