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Jul 6, 2013 02:36 PM

Mango vs bell pepper

I grew up in the mid-west. Green bell peppers were always called mangos. Does anyone know why? I have a collection of vintage cookbooks and there are many recipes that call for mangos...meaning green peppers. Hmm. Thoughts?

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    Interesting. I must say I've never before heard this.
    "For those not familiar with this oddity, it is not unusual for a grocery store to advertise mangos for sale and find green peppers beneath that sign. The origin of the confusion began in the 1600’s when the first mangos were imported from the East Indies. The mango fruit needed to be pickled for transport because of the length of the journey.

    This is where the confusion starts. The American colonists began to use the word “mango” as a general synonym for “pickled dish”. From then on mango became a verb meaning “to pickle”.

    The most popular food to pickle at the time was a green bell pepper stuffed with cabbage. It became so popular that even unstuffed and unpickled the bell pepper was known as a mango."

    1. My maternal grandmother (northern Indiana) called them mangoes for years -- I've never heard it anywhere outside the Midwest.

      1 Reply
      1. Being from the South East I've never heard of this until now.

        But to add to the confusion, my Caribbean wife calls bananas "figs". That'll raise an eyebrow or two.

        1. Raised in KY, and bell peppers were called mangoes. When I married Mr.Pine, an Indian, he was so excited when Mom said something about mangoes for dinner (this was before true mangoes were so widely available). Was he ever disappointed when dinner was stuffed bell peppers.

          2 Replies
            1. re: pine time

              I agree with sunshine. This is indeed very cruel -- especially he is an Indian.

            2. if i'm not mistaken there is "confusion" between Mango's and Avocado in some areas as well. I think this person was from the great lakes region, but im not certain. she bought a bunch of green mango and was shocked when the skin turned red and the flesh turned orange and could not be turned into guacamole

              1 Reply
              1. re: KaimukiMan


                I don't think you call that confusion.