Any Way You Like Them: Mangoes can be eaten in a wide variety of ways, from fresh to pickled to sprinkled with li hing mui or dipped in shoyu and vinegar. They make great salsa, soup, salads, chutney, relish, preserves, cocktails, ice cream and baked treats and can even be used in sweet-savory chicken, fish or pork dishes. Even unripe (“green”) mango has its fans! Jenny at Frankie’s Nursery loves green mango with hot chili; the slightly sour and spicy flavors go great together.
Look Beyond Color: Mangoes come in many colors, and some will never turn completely red, even when ripe. The best way to tell if a mango is ready to eat is to smell it near the stem; it should have a mild, fruity scent. You can also touch it gently; a ripe mango will yield slightly to pressure. Avoid soft, bruised or wrinkled fruit, but don’t be afraid of the black speckles that are sometimes found on fruit as they do not penetrate the flesh.
Freeze that Fruit: Mangoes can be stored at room temperature for a week, and once ripe, they can be kept in the refrigerator for a week. But don’t refrigerate them before they’re ripe, Jenny cautions, unless you want them to stay green. If they start to get super-ripe, “Freeze them—don’t waste them!” she advises. “You can make smoothies, ice cream, jam!” Peel and slice or cube them first to make them easier to eat or use once frozen.
On Top of the World: While mango is considered exotic by some, more fresh mango is eaten around the world on a daily basis than any other fruit, and in fact, it is considered “the king of fruit.” Interestingly, in India the mango is considered a symbol of love and some even believe it can grant wishes!
Sweet and Super: Fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free, mangoes have more than 20 different vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They’re especially high in vitamins A and C, folate and dietary fiber. A one-cup serving of mango has just 100 calories, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without guilt.