Of all the tropical fruits, mangoes surely must be the most celebrated. Exotic and fragrant, a mango enjoyed on a hot summer’s day is a pleasurable experience indeed.
There are many mango varieties cultivated in Australia, with the Kensington Pride (or Bowen) being the most readily available. The R2E2, a larger and sweeter variety, is also a common variety.
Nutritionally, mangoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant. They are also high in vitamins A and C, dietary fibre and potassium.
When selecting mangoes, choose unblemished fruit. A ripe mango will yield slightly under pressure and should have a sweet fruity fragrance if not chilled. The colour is not an indication of its ripeness as colour varies with variety.
Store unripe mangoes at room temperature until ripened. Once ripened, consume immediately or refrigerate. The cheeks of the mangoes can be successfully frozen – good news if you have a surplus and want to enjoy mangoes when they are out of season.
To cut a mango, hold it in a vertical position over a chopping board. Slice the cheeks off by making 2 cuts lengthwise either side of the stone. Use a small knife to cut each cheek in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through. Turn the cheek inside out and cut the cubes from the skin (or you could serve or eat the mango straight from the cheek). To make mango slices rather than cubes, cut the cheeks into 4 or 5 slices lengthwise, then use a small knife to remove the skin from each slice.
Mangoes are pure pleasure eaten just as they are, but here are five other ways to enjoy mangoes:
1. Make a mango daiquiri
2. Combine diced mango, chopped red onion, chilli and coriander and fresh lime juice to make a mango salsa. Serve with chicken, pork and seafood.
3. Include chunks of mango in a tropical fruit salad.
4. Add chopped mango to a Thai coconut curry.
5. Make a colourful salad of prawns, avocado, mango, lettuce and cherry tomatoes.