Do you have a favorite seasonal fruit ?
May be peaches in summer and pumpkin in fall ! Mangoes are synonymous with summer in India.My most favorite fruit. Indian ‘Malda’ is likely to be the sweetest,silkiest fruit God created in my opinion.No other varieties of mangoes that i have tasted comes close to it.Wish they imported it here
Place where i grew up at is popular for mangoes orchards like in this picture.To this day,in the beginning of summer,i ask my parents if they have seen ‘manjhar’ (blooming mango flowers)!
Usually during summer we get storms in India,which damages the ‘manjhar’ and destroys mango crops.
I remember when we were little,we will go walking and looking for small fallen mangoes under the tree after the storm.We gathered them.Some we sliced and ate it just like that,teetering tart.Markets are usually full with small raw mangoes after the storm.
Mango leaves and mango woods are used in many Hindu worship.
How do you use mangoes?
It is more then Mango Lassi which is popular here in Indian US restaurants.Depending on the type of mango,whether it’s raw or ripe, usage varies
- Raw mangoes pickle is must summer to do.It is a labor of love.Homemade mango pickles are the best.Used as condiment.
- Sweet and spicy chutney with “Panchforun” .Post for another time
- Grated raw mangoes quick pickle relish.
- ‘panna’ , delightful mango drink during summer
- Using raw mango in dish such as lentil soup or mango rice.
- Dried mango slices(“Khatai”) / dry mango powder(“Amchoor”) used in cooking.
- I learnt after coming here to use semi raw/semi sweet green looking mangoes in salsa.
I love all the above i mentioned but i enjoy it best as just sliced sweet fruit.During summer, we had mangoes as dessert after the meal growing up regularly.I am very glad that both of our children love mangoes.My husband has yet to like this fruit.That’s ok because i like peaches in cobbler only
So it was only appropriate that when we go to Indian store,we buy mango by the boxes.Don’t ask how long it stays at our home.
I get the impression that mangoes are not very popular around here.I have met people bewildered not knowing what to do with it.
So How do we eat ripe mango?
It sounds silly question to ask but i get the question because i don’t know how to approach something like dragon fruit either.First make sure mango is ripe.Tart mangoes should be consumed as condiment in my opinion.
- Is it green or yellow?Green usually means its not ripened but yellow can be deceiving.It can also mean very ripe.
- Touch it.It should feel bit soft but not mushy.Firm but not rock solid hard.Not wrinkly skin.
- Smell it.It should smell sweet.
- See the very top where it was attached to the branch.If it is green,means it may not be ripe all the way.Give it couple of days.
- If the very top where it was attached to the branch is black and juices are coming out of with little press,it is likely to be overripe.Just use the sense God has given you
- Mango has one very hardy seed in the middle.So wash the mango first.Use sharp knife and cut it lengthwise on both sides.You will know if your knife hits the seed.Just move the knife away from the seed and slice through the side.You can score and scoop the pulp.Or do what my children do.Once the side of the mango is sliced,you can scoop it directly using a spoon.My son calls it mango ‘bowl’.I have heard there is nifty mango slicer available nowadays.
- You can also cut thin slices out of mango ‘bowl’,no need to remove the skin.Eat like you will eat the watermelon.It is dripping sticky mess.Or use spoon.
- If you do not care about how messy you get while eating ,then simply cut/peel the skin off.Eat like you will eat apple,only more messier ,of course don’t bite on the seed:-)
- Some mangoes are very fibrous,juicy but not meaty with big seed.Some are silky and meaty,which i prefer.Depending on the variety of the mango,slicing and eating method will vary.
Oh the imagery of bushels and basketful of ripe silky smooth meaty sweet ‘Malda’ is salivating !Hope you will try a mango if you haven’t yet.