When are mangos in season?
I am a big fan of mangos; they always remind of the beautiful and exotic tropical Asian countries I’ve been to where they are so popular and considered the King of Fruits. If you’ve never had one and are a little hesitant to try the plump, luscious and peculiar mango fruit then let me tell you that you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to eat an awesome and deliciously healthy fruit.
All about Mangos
So what is a mango? Mangos are creamy, mouth-watering, flavorful sweet-smelling tropical fruits that belong to the flowering plant genus Mangifera in the cashew family Anacardiaceae. These fruits have waxy, leathery skin that is typically color green when unripe and turns yellow, or yellow with red blush when ripe.
Depending on the cultivar, mangos size range from 2 to 9 inches long and weighs 8 to 24 ounces with flesh that is bright yellow to orange when ripe. Mangos flesh texture vary according to variety; some are very much like that of a peach or overripe plum in that it is succulent, juicy and creamy, while some are a little bit firmer like that of avocado or cantaloupe flesh, and some have fibrous texture.
It may still be exotic in the United States but in reality there are actually 400 mango varieties grown in Florida alone. One popular Florida Mango is Haden which is the parent of other mango cultivars grown in the United States. It has deep yellow flesh that is rich and highly aromatic.
Other popular Florida Mango varieties are:
- Kent – sweet, aromatic mango with yellow peel tinged with red blush.
- Tommy Atkins – mildly flavored variety with firm and fibrous flesh.
- Valencia Pride – aromatic mango with smooth, juicy and flavorful flesh that melts like butter.
Mangos are considered super fruits because of their nutritional content and many health benefits. Mangos are rich in vitamin A, B6, C, D and E, and also contain copper and flavonoids like β-carotene, α-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin that are good in fighting diseases and boosting the immune system. Calories in a mango is pretty low and is only at 100 count per one cup.
Research also shows that consuming mangos help in decreasing risk of diabetes and heart disease. Other health benefits of a mango include asthma prevention, improved calcium absorption and decreased risk of macular degeneration.
How to eat a mango
If you have never tried this fruit you might be wondering how to eat a mango. There are actually a few ways to enjoy this fruit.
- Cut in 3 parts while avoiding the large pit. Cut the flesh in criss-cross pattern without cutting the skin. Push the skin forward until the flesh puckers out.
- If you think that making criss-cross cuts is too tedious, you can always just scoop out the flesh using a spoon.
- If you are uncomfortable with using a knife you can just tear the skin and eat the fruit as is.
You can eat mangos fresh out of hand, add it in salads, use it to flavor ice-cream, or as an ingredient for yummy dishes like sweet and spicy chicken beef teriyaki and chicken with lime and cilantro. Bon Appétit!