Often referred to as the “tropical fruit king,” mangoes are one of the most important fruit crops in Taiwan. According to Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, in 2019 alone, a total of 8,000 metric tons of mangoes were exported to other countries, including Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong, an increase of 56 percent from the previous year.
Also, the total amount of mango production in 2020 is expected to reach around 150,000 metric tons, and the total exports would amount to 9,400 metric tons, with an increase of about 17 percent, despite the outbreak of COVID-19.
Please watch the following video of “Distinctive Mangoes in Taiwan.”
Distribution of mangoes
Mango is a tropical fruit crop and Taiwan’s mangoes are mainly grown in the country’s central and southern areas due to their ideal tropical growing conditions, with Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung considered most expansive.
Mangoes cultivated in Taiwan are of good quality with different colors, sizes, and tastes. They can be divided into four major strains: Local (土芒果), Southeast Asian (南洋種), Improved (改良種), and Newly-Emerging (新興品系).
Local mangoes have a unique fragrance though it looks smaller and unattractive. Southeast Asia strains are characterized by White Mango (懷特), also known as Ivory Mango (象牙), and Black Incense Mango (黑香). Improved strains include Ai Wen Mango (愛文), Haydn Mango (海頓), Kate Mango (凱特), Sacred Heart Mango (聖心).
As to newly-emerging strains, there are Jinhuang Mango (金煌), Tai Nong No.1 Mango (台農一號), Shanlin No.1 Mango (彬林一號), Yuwen No.6 Mango (玉文六號), Jinxing Mango (金興), Yulin Mango (玉林), Slow Love Mango (慢愛文), Hong Kate Mango (紅凱特), Jinwen Mango (金文), Jinmi Mango (金蜜), Honglong Mango (紅龍), Wenxin Mango (文心), Sacred Heart Mango (聖心), etc.
Ai Wen mango
Ai Wen is the most striking mango variety in Taiwan. It is one of the 40-plus mango varieties introduced from the U.S. State of Florida in 1954. Within seven years of planting and domestication, Ai Wen stood out as its output was relatively stable, and its overall quality was very good.
Ai Wen’s epidermis is in eye-catching red color and its flesh has a pleasing aroma that tastes sweet. Moreover, it is almost fiber-free, and its seeds are small and thin. As a result, not only is it popular among farmers, but it is highly favored by consumers as well.
Hometown of mangoes
Yujing (玉井) is an agricultural district in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City, which has a total of 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) of mango orchards. It is Taiwan’s biggest producer of mangoes, with an annual output of over 15,000 tons per year. It is thus referred to as the hometown of mangoes in Taiwan.
The district is where the imported Ai Wen mango cultivars were first planted in 1962. Nowadays, about 45 percent of its mango orchards are used to grow Ai Wen mango, and Yujing is currently the most important producer of Ai Wen mango in Taiwan.
Yujing has earned itself a reputation for the hometown of the Aiwen Mango. To promote mango, Yujing Mango Cultural Festival has been held every year since 1999, and Yujing was also the location of the 2020 Tainan International Mango Festival.