Mango Season

simplyrecipes.com

History / Geography
Mangoes are originally from Southeast Asia, where they have grown for over 4000-6000 years. In India, mangoes are considered sacred and India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes. They are now cultivated in temperate climates around the world.

Science
Mangifera Indica
Mangoes are part of the sumac family, and related to the cashew!

Varieties
There are thousands of varieties of mangoes which are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Season
May to September

How to Select
They have a thin tough skin which is green with yellow and red mottling. They can be oval, round or kidney-shaped, and weigh as little as 6 ounces and as much as 4 pounds. Look for fruit with a smooth skin that has no holes or signs of bruising that is heavy for its size. There is a huge seed inside the mango, so the size of the mango is deceiving. The flesh is a juicy orange. When you smell the mango, there should be a sweet aroma.

Storage
Place ripened fruit in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to five days. Unripened fruit may be ripened in a brown bag at room temperature for two days.

Nutritional Qualities
Vitamins A, C and D.

Trivia
Baskets of mangoes are considered to be a gesture of friendship.

In Guatamala, women eat mangoes as an aphrodisiac.

Urushiol is contained within the skin (as well as the bark and leaves) of the mango and three of its family members: poison ivy, poison oak and sumac. If you have an allergy to sumac, poison ivy and poison oak, then after two to three exposures with the skin of the mango, you will most likely break out in a similar allergic reaction. To avoid this, handle the mango in its skin with gloves until you have washed it or peeled the skin off of it. Be cautious when consuming, as some very sensitive people may get a similar reaction throughout their digestive tract.

Wine Pairings
Australian sémillon

Flavor Affinities
Apricots, avocados, chicken, chiles, cilantro, cucumber, jicama, lime juice, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, rum, seafood, star fruit, bell pepper, tangerine.

Equivalencies
1 mango = 12 ounces = 3/4 – 1 cup chopped

Preparation
Peel and carefully cut the flesh away from the seed. Delicious fresh in fruit salads, as well as cooked into chutneys. Mangoes can be canned, pureed and dried. You may find mango nectar in some markets.

Mango and Papaya Salsa

2 tablespoons jalapeno, seeded, very finely minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
1/2 cup poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
1/2 cup mango, peeled, small dice
1 cup papaya, peeled, seeded, small dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely minced

Combine ingredients-mix well. Cover and chill for 1-48 hours. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Serve with grilled chicken or shrimp.

Mango Chutney

2 pounds mango, fresh
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup blanched almonds, slivered
1/2 cup orange zest, thinly sliced, candied
1/2 cup lemon zest, thinly sliced, candied
1/4 pound citron, thinly sliced, candied
3/4 cup raisins, Sultana
1 tablespoon ginger, thinly sliced
1/4 cup candied ginger, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3 dried red chili pepper, minced, seeded
1 cup onion, very finely minced

Remove and discard peels from mangoes and slice thinly combine mangoes and salt-toss to mix well. Cover and allow to stand for 4-8 hours, drain well. Combine sugar and vinegar in a saucepan, over a moderate flame. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce flame and add mangoes. Heat for 15 minutes, until very tender, stirring occaisionally. Add the remaining ingredients-mix well. Simmer for 30-60 minutes, until thickened Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Yields: 16 servings

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