Mango! It’s more than a fruit. It’s a fruit with a vibe. A happy, summer vibe! And mangoes are back in season right now…
The South African harvesting season is December to April, so you’ll be able to find your favourite mangoes on Food Lover’s Market shelves right through the summer months.
Mangoes are everyone’s favourite exotic summer fruit, with over 1000 varieties known worldwide. Such is the love for its unique flavour that mangoes made their way seamlessly with the ancient explorers from Asia to the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
South Africa grows 15 mango varieties, mostly in the sub-tropical regions of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. And as a nation, we love them! As a bonus to delicious taste, mangoes are high in vitamins A, C and biotin, and the mineral potassium.
Tommy Atkins are the early season mangoes you just can’t wait to get your hands on. That first juicy bite marks the real start of summer! These fruit are medium to large in size with thickish orange-red skins.
The smaller Zill mangoes also make an early entrance. These are beautifully sweet with skins an artist’s palette of greenish-yellow and red. Peach and Sabre come next – both fibrous (good for purées) and yellow with blushing red cheeks.
Then mid-season, from about February onwards, you’ll find Sensation – small and oval, firm and stringless, with a delightful green and purple colouring – and the famous yellow and red coloured Heidi mangoes which are medium to large, heart-shaped fruit.
But don’t get hung up on the colour of a mango’s skin when it comes to gauging ripeness as there are a couple of varieties that appear mid-season, namely Kent and Keitt, that remain green or greenish-yellow when ripe and ready to eat!
What to do with your mango haul this year? Well, eating a cooling mango from the skin with its heady juice dripping down your arms is a must! And we can’t think of a meal that mangoes don’t improve.
- Blitz the fruit and freeze the pulp for the most sensational sorbet.
- Celebrate with a decadent vanilla cake dripping in mango curd or better yet cool mango ice cream.
- Chicken and lamb love a mango braai basting
- Forgo the usual salad with charred cauliflower steaks, roasted chickpea and mango salad – paradise in a bowl.
- A spicy, herby mango salsa can’t be beaten for braais, burgers, wraps and chip dip.
- For something a little more exotic, then try a prawn and mango curry!
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert it’s Mmmmm…mangoes all the way this summer. Share your delicious, delightful mango inspired recipes with us, tag @foodloversmarket and @samangoes.