Where You Can Find Purple Taiwan Mangoes in the Country

Have You Tasted These “Sexy” Purple Mangoes in Taiwan?

Irwin mangoes are adored for their fresh, juicy taste and impeccable sweet-sour combination.

Should you ever find yourself in the historic city of Tainan in southwestern Taiwan, it’s possible to run into Taiwan mangoes in the luxurious shade of purple. To most foreigners, these may seem completely out of the ordinary and unlike anything they’ve seen. But to locals of Tainan, these eye-catching fruits are so common — you can practically get them anywhere in this side of the country. During the right season, of course.

But before you decide to eat them (and I promise you will, eventually), what you might want to know is how it’s possible to sport such a fascinating outer colour. Especially when one, they’re not dyed. And two, photos of them are certainly not edited for virality’s sake, contrary to what people might think.

Also read: 9 Reasons Why A Trip To Taiwan Isn’t Complete Without Tainan

So, why the purple colour for these Taiwan mangoes?

According to the Council of Agriculture, Taiwan is known for cultivating many types of these fruits which have their origins in northwestern Myanmar, Bangladesh, and northeastern India. The most common ones are called Jinhuang mangoes and Irwin mangoes, which bear the distinct purple hue.

Irwin mangoes actually come from Florida in the United States of America. Specifically, within the property of a certain F.D. Irwin, hence the name. The fruits are the result of the cross-pollination of the seedlings of Lippens and Haden mangoes. Both boast reddish to nearly purplish colours which have been carried over to the new mango cultivar.

Mango Trees in Taiwan

Taiwan saw the first Irwin mangoes or purple Taiwan mangoes when a Tainan local by the name of Cheng Han-chih grew them soon after their commercial production started. Douliuzai Village, where Cheng used to live, is even known as a mango special agricultural zone, which is responsible for Taiwan’s thriving mango industry. The local grower subsequently became the “father” of this local industry.

Also read: 25 Taipei Souvenirs That You Should Definitely Bring Home With You

What do these mangoes taste like and where to find them

Like Jinhuang mangoes, Irwin mangoes are adored for their superior quality, as well as their fresh, juicy taste and impeccable sweet-sour combination. Similar to most types of mangoes and tropical fruits, Irwin mangoes come with significant levels of nutrients. These include carbohydrates, Vitamin C, and potassium. Weirdly enough, people have also referred to these fruits as “sexy” or “seductive” because of their colour. Another type of mango that carries the red-purplish tone is Palmer, but they’re not as popular in Taiwan.

The mango season in Taiwan takes place between May and September of each year. To find and taste fresh Taiwan mangoes, including Irwin, simply head to Tainan from major cities like Taipei and Taichung. The best way to do so is by taking Taiwan’s reliable high-speed trains.


All images credited to BING-JHEN HONG via Canva Pro.

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Joser Ferreras
Joser Ferreras

Joser writes about travel, people, and business. A former researcher, he wants to debunk the old saying 'write what you know' by acknowledging that good content is also the outcome of one's openness to learn something new.

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