Last week we spoke about the different varieties of mangos. Let’s look at some more information about mangos.
What to look for when purchasing:
If you give a little squeeze and it has some give, it is ripe. If it’s still hard it hasn’t fully ripened. You can ripen by leaving on your counter or putting in a paper bag for a day or two to speed up the process. Color does not matter to look for ripeness. Sometimes they will have a fruit aroma near the stem end.
Do not eat the skin. The skin is generally tough anyway. Interestingly enough, mangos belong to the poison ivy family so if you try to eat the skin, you are exposing your face to urushiol, the toxin in poison ivy. Some people may even get a rash after handling or eating mangos.
It has a rather large pit in the middle so you want to cut around it. Here is a video that might help.
Cooking with mangos:
Mangos can be used to glaze a ham for your holiday meal, made into a salsa, used in sweet and sour dishes. Here are some recipes. Mango Recipes
Mangos (sometimes spelled mangoes) are a tropical fruit. There are six varieties available at various times of the year. Each type has a different flavor and texture so you may want to explore them all.
Honey: Has a yellow color and a sweet and creamy flavor. Its peak availability is March-June, while there is some availability the rest of the year. They are grown in Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.
Francis: The ouside is bright yellow with some green and the inside is bright yellow-orange. It is grown mostly in Haiti. The flavor is rich, spicy, and sweet. The peak availability is April-June while March-September has some availability.
Keitt: This greenish-skinned variety is grown in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico. The bright yellow inside has a sweet and fruity flavor. They are popular in Asian cuisine. They are available March through October with peak availability from July to September.
Kent: Kents are available year long except April and October. They peak June-August and December-February. Their skin is mostly dark green and sometimes has small areas of dark red. The flavor is said to be sweet and rich. They are grown in Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.
Tommy Atkins: These lovelies are originally from Florida and are the most that are imported into the U.S. They are mildly sweet with a firm flesh. They have a dark red blush with green and yellow areas. They have some availability year round with peak being March-July and September-October. They come to us from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.
Palmer: These also originated in Florida. They are grown in Brazil. They are available somewhat August-October but they don’t have a peak season. They are a deep red and mildly sweet.
One cup of mango cubes has about 100 calories, 100% of daily vitamin C, 35% daily vitamin A.