For me, summer means mangoes. The smell, the taste and the bright sunset colours. I look forward to when the mango season starts every year – from October until the end of January. Mango bliss!
Buying and storage
When buying mangoes look for ones with firm tight skins (no wrinkles!), free from any obvious marks or bruises. They should have a pleasant aroma and bright yellow/orange skin.
Mangoes are ripe when the flesh softens gently when squeezed and they have a pleasant aromatic smell.
Unripe mangoes can be left to ripen at room temperature. Once ripe you can store them in the fridge for a few days. If refrigerated for too long mangoes will start to get black spots, so don’t leave them in the fridge for too long!
Mangoes should be peeled before eating.
In Australia mangoes tend to be sold in varieties. The most common is Kensington Pride which flesh is deep orange and free of fibrous strands. Other varieties available include Irwin, Keitt, R2E2 and Kent.
Mango is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, Beta Carotene and Potassium. They belong to the same family as cashew and pistachio nuts.
Mangoes can be peeled with a vegetable peeler. If the mango is a little ripe, cut the top off first to give the peeler an edge to start with.
Mango is a great substitute for peaches, plums or other summer stone fruits in recipes.
When at the height of the season, peel, dice and freeze mango for smoothies, sauces or purees later in the year.
Mangoes go well with…
Banana, Lemon, Lime, Onion, Green Onion, Ginger, Pineapple, Orange, Mandarin, Peach, Plum, Kiwifruit, Lychee, Nectarine, Passionfruit, Jalapeno Chilli, Red Chilli, Fresh or Dried Coconut, Coconut Milk and Cream, Vanilla Beans or Extract, Lentils and Other Legumes, Fish, Duck, Pork, Chicken, Turkey, Rum, Vodka and Brandy.
Quick summer ideas for mangoes
Caramelised mangoes – Score the flesh of mango cheeks in a lattice pattern. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Heat a chargrill or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook mango, flesh side down, until golden and caramelised. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.
Mango yoghurt pops – Puree mango flesh until smooth. Mix mango puree with equal parts greek-style yoghurt and a sprinkle of sugar (about 1 tbs – add more if needed). Freeze overnight in popsicle moulds. Serve.
Mango thick shake – Puree the flesh of 2 chopped mangoes with 1 ½ cups milk and 4 scoops vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.