One of the most celebrated tropical fruits out there, mangoes are ripe for the picking in the next few months. Characterized by juicy, fibrous flesh and an oblong pit in the center, mangoes are refreshing and delicious. The mango is distantly related to the cashew, pistachio, poison ivy, and poison oak; native to southern Asia, mangoes were introduced to the to Florida in the 1830's and California in the 1880's. Mangoes are loaded with protective nutrients like vitamins C and A, potassium, and copper. They're often referred to as "king of the fruit."
Mango recipes, tips, and ideas after the jump.
There are over 1,000 known cultivars of mangoes available; however, the most popular varieties are Tommy Atkins, Keitt, Kent, Van Dyke, and Jubilee—the first two accounting for 50% of mango production in the United States.A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma; they're ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yielding to gentle pressure, like a ripe peach.
To accelerate ripening, place your mangoes in a paper bag overnight. Once the mangoes are ready to eat, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. To prepare a mango for eating, wash thoroughly, slice in half lengthwise, avoiding the pit in the center. Hold one mango half skin side down and score into 1/2 inch squares. Then, using your thumbs, push the mango inside-out, and you have ripe and delicious squares to eat out of hand or use in recipes.