Two theories of the orign of the word Mangú

Posted by Isaac Lopez on

Mangú is probably the most identifiable dish to Dominicans, sure we have rice, beans and meat, and sancocho and tostones, and many others, but Mangú is king en la tierra de los platanos. And there is no specific time to eat it, it can be breakfast, lunch or dinner, and nothing better than having it with it's side kicks, the terrible hunger fighting combo Tres Golpes: Mangú, Salami, Eggs and Cheese. But where did the name Mangú comes from, there are two theories of the origin of the names one dates back to the 1500's the other to the early 1900's.

It is believe that the word Mangú comes from the region of the Congo. During the height of the slave trade in 1500's Africans were kidnapped and brought to the Hispaniola (Haiti, Dominican Republic). The word mangú was akin to mangusi and referred to any root vegetable that was boiled and mashed.

The second theory dates back to the 1916, On the 1st invasion of Dominican Rep, by the U.S. Vendors hit the streets to sell mash plantain breakfast to U.S. Troops. One soldier dared to taste the unique dish, looked up at his fellow army-men and told them "MEN, GOOD!" The men reacted positively to these words and ordered the green plantain purée. And so vendors started shouting with a heavy accent "MAN GU" to attract foreigners to eat the traditional dish.

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