We never had much of the tropical fruit experience when I was growing up. Never had mango, papaya, kiwi or even pineapple much. Because of this I was always a little suspicious of tropical fruits. Except anything Tropicana. Yeah, I know that doesn’t count, but to a 13 year old in suburban Massachusetts, it’s somewhat exotic.
When I finally did start getting into mango-eating, I found it hard to judge ripeness. I also found it hard to cut. I just wasn’t sure how to handle the thing. Wild Oats has a great explanation with photos of how to deal with mangoes properly. If you’re a little mango-shy, it’s a great resource that shows you how it’s done!
Here is what I have learned about choosing a ripe one—smell it. It’s going to smell fragrant when ripe. It also give a little when you press it. Be gentle, don’t want to bruise! If it feels firm with not much give, then it’s not ready. Take it home and sit it in a brown paper bag for a day or 2 and it’ll ripen right up for you.
The first time I had mango that was perfectly ripe and sweet it was one that came from a friend’s mother in Florida. She grew them in her backyard and shipped them to my friend in Massachusetts. We got us some good vanilla ice cream and spooned chopped mango over it. My taste buds were doing the happy dance, I tell you. It was divine.
The second time I had mango that was thoroughly enjoyable in a way I hadn’t expected it was a mango salsa. I was out of my head with, “why didn’t I know about this before?â€ and “mango is my new favorite fruit!â€
As with the other salsa recipes, tweak this to your liking—a little more lime here, a little less onion there—whatever you like. Salsa making is no place for staunch measuring!
Put that measuring spoon down!
1 deliciously ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1 1/2 – 2 tbs. chopped red onion
1/4 tsp. grated lime zest
1 – 2 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 – 2 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate if you’ll be serving it in more than an hour.
I love this recipe because it’s simple, quick, easy and goes great with a variety of dishes. Grill a pork tenderloin and serve with salsa. Serve it with tortilla chips. Crab cakes love this salsa. The best way, for me, Is on top of grilled halibut. It’s way easy—get yourself some good halibut filets, rub them on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat grill for about 4 minutes a side until opaque in the center. Now that, my friends is good eats! Tuck in.
Oh, and for a serious mango dessert situation, head over to kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com for a decadent recipe!