What is the first thing that comes in your mind when you hear the word “Mango”? If you will ask me that question, the first thing that I think of is the Philippines.
In my opinion, I can say, Without any doubt, that the best mangoes that the world has ever tasted came from the Philippines. I know people from other mango producing countries will question my statement. However, I am confident to say that there is no other mango out there that can beat Philippine mangoes in terms of sweetness, sourness, size, and weight. I tried almost all the imported mango varieties here in the US — including local mangoes. They all taste different from the original Philippine Mango. There are even varieties here that says “Manila Mangoes” in the sticker, but the taste does not say so.
There are many mango varieties in the Philippines. Champagne mango or Carabao mango is probably the most famous in terms of taste. This mango variety is the sweetest mango that I ever tasted. It is also the mango variety that the Philippines export to other countries.
There are different strains (breed) produced from Carabao mango — one of which is called Sweet Elena. If I am not mistaken, this breed originated somewhere in Zambales. Sweet Elena mango is the sweetest that I ever had. It is probably the sweetest mango in the world. There are also the well loved Cebu and Guimaras mangoes which are of world class quality.
Filipinos enjoy eating mango regardless if it is green or ripe. The Pico mango or Manggang Pico is best eaten regardless of its maturity. I enjoy eating green mangoes — especially if it is extra sour. Pico mango is my first choice whenever I want to eat Manggang Hilaw with Bagoong. Don’t get me wrong, green carabao mangoes are good too. It is just a matter of preference.
Did you know that the Philippines holds the record for the world’s biggest mango? A couple from Iligan City in Mindanao holds the record for producing the biggest mango in the world. It weights 3.5 kilos (7.7 lbs).
Those of you who are living in the Philippines (or have lived in the Philippines) might have had your own mango tree. We have both Carabao and Indian mangoes planted on our backyard in the Philippines. I remember setting fire every morning to the dry leaves that I gathered. The smoke makes mango trees bear more fruit.
Do you have some information or stories about Philippine Mango that you want to share? We love to hear from you.