Mangoes

Mangoes are one of the fruits we really enjoy in the summer.  It wasn’t until we owned our own produce store that I really began to understand mangoes.  I used to think a mango was a mango was a mango.  Boy, was I wrong.  Mangoes come in a  wide variety of types and each one has it’s own unique flavor and texture.  If you’ve tried mangoes before, and not found them as delightful as we do, try them again.  Sample several different varieties before you make up your mind.  Juicy mangoes are often described as an exotic mix between pineapple and peach.  Our favorite variety is Adolfo which is kidney shaped and flatter than other varieties.  They ripen into a yellow-orange color and are sweet and tender.  The most common variety is Tommy Atkins mango which is rounder in shape and ripens to a bright red and yellow.  This is the variety which is most commonly found in grocery stores.  Mangoes are great eaten plain or can be diced and mixed with tomatoes, onions, lime juice and cilantro to make a delicious summer salsa.  Mangoes are related to poison ivy and their sap can create a strong allergic reaction on some people.  I once climbed a mango tree as a child, and paid the price of weeks of agony and swollen face and hands.  Now I let Rick handle and peel the mangoes for me.  I may have a problem with the skin, but the fruit is wonderful.

When buying a mango, make sure it has a tropical fruity aroma; unripe mangoes have no scent. A fresh mango will give slightly to the touch, but stay away from very soft or bruised fruit. Some mangoes ripen to a combination of raspberry, orange and green shades, while other varieties are golden yellow or green when ripe. If your mangoes aren’t quite ripe, storing them in a paper bag for a few days will help them along. The size can vary, but larger mangoes will have more fruit in relation to the pit.

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