Mangoes are native to India and South East Asia and few fruits have
such an historic background. They were grown in large numbers
in the 1500s in northern India and their cultivation since then has
continued to be widespread. They were introduced into Australia
in the 1800s and are a part of every Queenslander’s childhood
memories. The mango season epitomises a Queensland summer
and large trees can be found planted on street footpaths in almost
every town throughout the state.
Characteristics Mangoes are ovate to elongate in shape and typically
weigh between 250 g and 1 kg, depending on the
variety. The colour of the flesh varies from yellow to
golden and is soft, juicy and sweet. Some varieties
have fibrous flesh, while others are succulent, buttery
Taste Mangoes are among the most delicious and luxurious
of all tropical fruits. Their taste varies depending on
variety, and is variously described as that of mint,
lemon, banana, pineapple or strawberry in flavour.
Buying and Storing The colour of a mango is not necessarily an indication
of its ripeness; some mangoes remain green when ripe.
Select fruit free from blemishes and black marks, as
these indicate the fruit is over-ripe. The best test of a
mango is its aroma, which should be highly perfumed
when ripe. The fruit, when pressed, should also
‘give’ a little. Unripened mangoes will ripen at room
temperature. Ripe mangoes can be refrigerated for one
week. Mango flesh can be frozen or dried, and both
varieties make welcome out-of-season treats.
Preparing and Serving Mangoes should be eaten fresh. They are most often
peeled and eaten like a peach. Another popular way
to eat the fruit is by cubing it. To do this, first slice
each side of the mango along the seed to produce two
halves. Then hold one portion of the mango with the
peel side down. Score the fruit down to the peel in a
‘tic-tac-toe’ fashion. With both hands, bend the peel
backwards. Cut the cubes along the peel to remove
them from the skin or just eat the mango with the skin
left on. Mangoes can be added to a wide variety of
foods: they can be puréed to make sorbets; eaten with
ice cream and in fruit salads; served with cured meats
such as prosciutto; and used in spicy dishes and curries.
Green varieties can be used to make chutney and
can be baked or stewed with chicken or meat dishes.
Mangoes are also great in salads and Asian recipes.
Availability November to March
Varieties Kensington Pride (Bowen), R2E2, Choko, Nand, Keitt, Brooks, Palmer, Kent, Irwin, Haden, Nam Doc Mai, Keow Savoey.
Acknowledgement The information about avocados is mainly sourced from the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Queensland publication Tropical Tastes - Fruits, Foods and Flavours of North Queensland and is reproduced with due acknowledgement and authority.