The scientific name for mango is Mangifera Indica and they are from the same botanical family as cashew nuts. Mangoes are a tropical fruit grown on dense evergreen trees that can grow as tall as 18-20 metres. Trees start to bear fruit at 3-4 years of age. They are grown in most tropical countries around the world and are abundant in the northern parts of Australia. There are more than 1,000 varieties of mangoes across the world, and common varieties in Australia include the Kensington Pride, Calypso, Honey Gold and R2E2. Freely available from September to March, Australians consume 8 million trays of mangoes each year!
When choosing a mango look for fruit with smooth skin and a sweet aroma. Avoid any with black or soft spots. Mangoes ripen best at room temperature. Store ripe fruit in the vegetable crisper or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Mangoes are a moderate energy source with the flesh providing 230kJ per 100g, are low in carbohydrate 11.6g/100g, and fibre providing 1.5g per 100g. They are a good source of Vitamins A and C and Beta-Carotene and they are also rich in fibre and potassium.
Mango can be enjoyed fresh, served in fruit salad or with ice-cream, used to make sauces, cakes, puddings, pies, salads, curries, seafood and chicken. Try chargrilled mango cheeks! Score the flesh of the cheeks, squeeze a little lime juice over the flesh and then sprinkle with a little coconut sugar. Let them sit for a few minutes to allow the sugar and lime to soak in then put them cut side down onto a hot barbeque grill. Grill for 3 or 4 minutes without turning over. This is a lovely and quick summer dessert. Serve with sprigs of fresh mint and a dollop of vanilla yoghurt, or for a treat, a dollop of organic coconut ice-cream!
Check out this recipe for Instant Mango Yoghurt Sorbet.
Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand 2006; NUTTAB 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: Fruits & vegetables in season may vary depending on where you live. Check with your friendly greengrocer.