The great green pepper ‘mango’ mystery - The Packer

The great green pepper ‘mango’ mystery

02/07/2014 10:07:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

“When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, they had to be pickled due to lack of refrigeration. Other fruits were also pickled and came to be called ‘mangoes’, especially bell peppers, and by the 18th century, the word ‘mango’ became a verb meaning “to pickle.’”

Cased closed.

Now excuse me while I go eat the cucumbers I mangoed last summer.

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February, 07, 2014 at 01:12 PM

Thanks for solving the mystery!

Denise Donohue    
DeWitt, Michigan  |  February, 19, 2014 at 05:50 AM

Great sleuthing, and very interesting!

Southern Illinois  |  September, 02, 2014 at 01:25 AM

We always called them Mango's too in Southern Illinois.

South Florida  |  October, 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

First pizza I bought based on the word "mango" came as a surprise to me. I love g.b.peppers, so I didn't argue ... but I never knew the history until now. Thanks!

Lenoir City, TN  |  January, 11, 2015 at 06:12 PM

I grew up in the Dayton, OH,area where my mother always called green peppers mangos. Many years after I had left home I decided to try to trace her usage of the word. I went to visit her mom who was in a nursing home near Lebanon, OH. I took grandma to the lobby for a visit. I asked her to name a green pepper without my actually using either "mango" or "green Pepper" but by describing the fruit itself. She struggled to try to figure out what I was asking her to say. A stranger sitting in the lobby nearby visiting her mother interrupted and asked, "are you talking about a mango?" BINGO! I realized that this was not an oddity of my mom and/or her family but was actually a regional usage. My wife who was raised in Knoxville, TN, could never understand why I had always confused mangos with green peppers.

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