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This item was last sold on : 07/10/17
|Food Buzz: History of Mangoes||Listen|
Mango nectarines are very small, like a plum, ranging from 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. The petit stone fruit is somewhat heart-shaped, with a single longitudinal groove running from the stem down to the apex of the fruit. The smooth skin is pale green at first, maturing to a bright, golden yellow. Mango nectarines are very aromatic, with scents of tropical fruit and flowers. The yellow flesh is soft and juicy with a smooth texture and a flavor that lives up to its moniker: sweet and tropical, reminiscent of mango with a tart finish.
Mango nectarines are available for a brief time in the early summer.
Mango nectarines are a hybrid variety of Prunus persica var. nucipersica. Despite the name, they are unrelated to the mango, and were given the name for their striking golden yellow color and tropical aroma and flavor. The small stone fruit variety is the result of crossbreeding two heirloom, pale-skinned cultivars that happened to grow as natural mutations (called ‘sports’) on different red-skin nectarine trees. There are a few yellow-skinned nectarine varieties that may be referred to as “mango” nectarines, but they are not the same. Mango nectarines are only cultivated in California.
Mango nectarines, like other Prunus persica varieties, are a good source of vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, including niacin. They are a source for antioxidant vitamins A and E, as well as essential electrolytes and minerals, like copper and potassium.
Mango nectarines are ideal for fresh-eating, though they can withstand the heat of cooking when under ripe. Use them in any recipe that calls for peaches or nectarines. Bake them in pies, tarts and pastries. Leave unripened fruit on the counter or place in a brown paper bag to ripen quickly. Use the softer flesh of ripe Mango nectarines in smoothies, ice creams or sorbets. Add diced fruit to breakfast bowls or to add a tropical flavor to fruit salads. Keep Mango nectarines at room temperature for up to a week. Refrigerating will slow the ripening process.
During the 7th and 8th centuries in China, golden-hued peaches became the symbol for all things exotic. They appear in legends and stories about the flow of riches and new things into central China. It is said that the ruler of the kingdom of Samarkand, a city in the country of Uzbekistan in central Asia, sent giant golden peaches to the rulers of the ancient Chinese capital of Xi’an (formerly Chang’an). The two cities lay at opposing ends of the ancient silk road that connected many different cultures, exposing them to new foods, religions and fashions. The story of the “Golden Peaches of Samarkand” is a nod to the cultural influences of the silk road on China's T’ang empire.
Mango nectarines were bred in the late 20th century by fruit grower, David Kamada of Ito Fruit Company in Reedley, California. They resemble the heirloom varieties from the early days of growing stone fruit in California. At that point in California’s agricultural history, nectarines grown in the golden state were small, green-skinned, and white-fleshed. It was in 1942 when the red-skinned Le Grand nectarine appeared in the markets, that the red-blush became a symbol of ripeness. More growers began developing red-skinned nectarine cultivars and the paler yellow and green-fleshed varieties fell out of favor. Nectarines have their origins in southeastern China, where the first fuzz-free stone fruit appeared as a sport itself, on a peach tree. Other yellow-skinned varieties are known to come from Uzbekistan in Central Asia and Japan. The golden, Mango nectarines may be spotted at farmers markets or in specialty stores in southern California. The trees are favorites of stone fruit aficionados.
Recipes that include Mango Nectarines. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Sweet Success||Mango Nectarine and Blackberry Cobbler|
|Pinch of Yum||Nectarine Basil Salsa|
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