The Taste of Summer Is Here – It’s Mango Season!
Mango chai, mango omelettes, and even mango pizza (we’re not even joking) have all gone viral this year. One thing is for sure, mangoes are inspiring chefs and foodies worldwide to create the most adventurous tropical fusion foods. With South Africa’s mango season officially starting, so can you!
Love mangoes as much as we do? Get onto the viral mango trend this summer and cook up your very own mango masterpiece.
Mango Magic – Sweet to Savoury
It’s not hard to see why mangoes are so popular among professional chefs and home cooks. For starters, they’re the quintessential summer fruit, with their exotic colours and tropical flavour. They have a distinctive, sweet, and slightly floral taste that no other fruit can match. Given this year’s food trends, they’re clearly versatile too – create sweet treats like mango lassi, savoury sides like mango salsa, and everything in between.
Mangoes look good on any summer spread, including on fancy party trays – whether sliced, diced or all dressed up. But they’re equally delicious in kiddies’ snacks and meals. You can’t go wrong with this magical fruit.
Marvellous Mangoes – The Benefits of Eating Mangoes
Mangoes are more than just a flavour bomb; these fruits are high in vitamins A and C, biotin and the mineral, potassium. They are also a great source of vitamins B1 and B6. Oh, and did we mention that they’re free from fat, sodium and cholesterol? As if we needed any more reasons to indulge in these tasty tropical treats!
Locally, farmers harvest mangoes from December to the end of April, which means you can get your mango fix right through summer.
There are more than 1000 known varieties of mango grown worldwide. In South Africa, 15 different cultivars are grown – mainly in the subtropical regions of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Locally, farmers harvest mangoes from December to the end of April, which means you can get your mango fix right through summer.
If you’re already rubbing your hands in anticipation, look out for Tommy Atkins mangoes; they’re the season’s first fruit and are known for their medium to large size and thickish orange-red skin.
When To Get Your Mango Fix
Mid-season arrives around February, when you’ll be able to taste Sensation – a small, oval, firm, stringless mango with a delightful green and purple colouring – and Heidi, the quintessential mango with yellow and red sunset hues. Heidi mangoes are medium to large in size and heart-shaped. The delicious mid to late-season mangoes, Kent and Keitt, will keep you supplied with mangoes until April.
To judge how ripe your mango is, give it a gentle squeeze. Ripe mangoes ‘give’ slightly under your fingers, while unripe mangoes remain firm to the touch and can be ripened at room temperature over a couple of days.
Love mangoes as much as we do? Get onto the viral mango trend this summer and cook up your very own mango masterpiece. All you need is your imagination, a recipe with a tasty tropical twist and, of course, fresh, juicy and sweet mmmmm… mangoes!
For more mango-licious inspiration, try the tasty recipes at the website link below and follow the South African Mango Growers’ Association on social media.
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