Thursday, June 1, 2017

Question for Mom

I thought all mangoes were the same, but I just found a new kind at my grocery store.  What’s the difference between baseball-size mangoes that are green with large areas of red and smaller, yellow mangoes? – Gloria Z.

Taste, for one thing.  The yellow mangoes, called ‘Yellow Honey’ or ‘Honey’ mangoes, can be a little sweeter.

(Left) Honey Mango  (Right) Tommy Atkins Mango
After some investigation, I learned that the name of the bigger mango, which is the type I always see in Southern California, is called ‘Tommy Atkins.’  It’s named after the Florida farmer who first grew it on his property and recognized its commercial potential.  It travels well and therefore is commonly available in produce aisles.

Your choice of mango often depends on where you live.  They are at least four other kinds of mango, and they have a similar taste. 

Here’s what you should know about mangoes.  This fruit, which grows on trees, very inconveniently has a very large, flat seed right in the middle.  There’s no way to remove it.  Instead, you have to remove the fruit from it. 

Peel the mango first.  Then, holding it firmly, use a sharp knife to cut slices from top to bottom on one side of the seed. Eventually you will get to the seed.  Repeat on the other side.  If you like, cut the slices into bite-size pieces.  Before throwing the seed away, trim off any remaining edible fruit.

Tommy Atkins Mango - note large white seed
Honey Mango - note large white seed
When choosing any kind of mango, avoid those that are extremely soft or have wrinkled skin.  If you plan to eat it with in a day or two, choose a mango that has started to soften.  Squeeze it gently to check.  If you plan to eat the mango next week, pick one that’s rock-hard.  It will ripen at room temperature within a few days.  When it’s ripe, store it in the refrigerator until a few hours before cutting and serving.

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