Mangos come into season in Australia in the middle of October and I look forward to that time of year. Mangos are a messy fruit but are also one of the most unique tasting fruits. They have come to symbolise the arrival of summer in Australia. Because large areas of Australia have a tropical climate, such as Queensland and the Northern Territory, there is no shortage of the precious fruit when the season arrives.
At the start of Mango season the first box of mangos is auctioned off at the markets in Sydney, usually for a phenomenal sum of money, and the proceeds are given to charity. Once they are fully in season you can pick up a box, which contains a dozen large mangos, for about ten dollars. Make sure that the fruit is a clean yellow or yellow and orange colour and not soft. It may also contain red areas. It should not be rock hard but slightly soft to the touch. If it is still green and hard then it's still ok to buy. It will ripen. It's best to let the fruit ripen at room temperature and not in direct sunlight. Placing it in a paper bag with some apples will speed up the ripening process.
Mangos contained a large elongated oval-shaped seed. The fruit is best eaten by slicing down on the face of the seed and cutting the whole fruit in half, as much as possible, with the skin intact. Then criss-cross the pulp without breaking the skin creating small squares, about 1 centimetre long, which can be cut off from the skin. Because the fruit is very fibrous and quite slimy it is best not to try to peel the fruit and then eat it off the seed. This wastes too much of the precious fruit by leaving it attached to the seed. It is also way too messy.
Once you have the cubes they taste fantastic with just plain vanilla ice cream. Or you can include them in a summer fruit salad along with banana, rock melon (cantaloupe for our North American friends), and apple and maybe some summer berries. It also tastes great in a salad with chicken or even on a frozen cheesecake. Mango and chicken definitely go together and there are many recipes available.
Mangos are also extremely good for you. They are rich in anti-oxidants and high in Vitamins A, E and Selenium. They also contain quite a bit of fibre and so are good for the intestines. Apparently African Mangoes are even quite popular as a weight loss tool, because they help suppress appetite.
I know I'll be enjoying mangos for the next few months while the season lasts.
Whether you're eating Australian Mango, Asian Mango or African Mango you can enjoy both the culinary and health benefits. Remember that for weight loss African Mango is the one to choose.
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