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Cinco De Mango: Salsa, Margaritas, and More!

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Did you know that the mango is the most popular fruit in the world?

I didn't either--I hadn't given it any thought, really--until I got in touch with the newly assembled National Mango Board, who are all about getting you to get to know the mighty mango.

I met my first mango many years ago in my grandmother's kitchen. (Unfortunately, if you're looking for an exotic story about my spicy abuelita or a tale tinged with the heat of the tropics, you're barking up the wrong mango tree. My lovely Jewish grandmother was more borscht than salsa, and her kitchen was in the lush wilds of Vancouver, Canada. How she came to love mango I'll never know...) I remember she taught me how to cut the fruit, and how to eat the sweet, silken flesh off the skin. But the mango and I didn't really spend any time together until I was much older, and and I found them in abundance here in Los Angeles.

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Although there are over 1,000 mango varieties worldwide, six make up the bulk of commercially available fruit. They come into season at various times, but at any time of the year you can find mangoes in your market, because at least one is always in season. I brought home a bag of Kent mangoes--it's got greenish skin with dark red blush and small yellow dots--and put them to work trying out some recipes that can turn your Cinco de Mayo into a Cinco de Mango--or let you mix things up with a little mango.