Some folks call green peppers "mangoes" for a centuries-old reason

In some parts of America's hinterlands, older folks call green peppers "mangoes." Turns out it goes back to a recipe substitution from the 1700s.

In this instance, a mango is "a green pepper stuffed with cabbage and mixed, minced picket, highly spiced and whole pickled together." IndyStar's Amy Bartner did a little research and fo0und that their food writer Donna Segal looked into it in the 1990s:

Food historian Karen Hess and author of Martha Washington's Book of Cookery told Segal that in 18th-century England there was a demand for Indian-style pickles like fruit mangos stuffed with spices and kept in a vinegar brine. Mangoes weren't available in England so they used substitutes such as green peppers. By way of English cookbooks printed in America, the recipe for stuffed mangoes using peppers spread across America. Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana use the dual name, possibly because of the large Amish settlements (fond of pickling) in those states. As time passed, even unstuffed peppers continued to be called mangoes.

Where I grew up, it was pronounced like "maingoes," if the definition wasn't enough to set you off.

Why Hoosiers call green peppers mangoes (IndyStar)

Image: Liz West