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Summertime is the perfect season to enjoy mangoes

Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN • Jun 3, 2020 at 10:30 PM

Although mangoes are available all year long, peak availability of the three main varieties we mostly enjoy in the U.S. arrives in May through August. Just like peaches, nectarines and plums, summertime is the perfect season to enjoy a ripe and ready mango!

Did you know that mangoes are the most popular fruits in the world? Originally cultivated and grown in India 5,000 years ago, mangoes grow on trees, and the type of tree is actually a member of the cashew family. Mangoes are considered a “stone fruit” since they have an outer skin, edible internal flesh, and then a seed in the center similar to a plum, cherry or peach. Mango trees grow in tropical climates, meaning in the U.S. they are only able to grow in southern Florida or California. However, we are able to get mangoes year round from tropical climates all over the world.

How do you choose a mango in the store? Choosing a ripe mango is more about the feel than the look. In fact, the red color of the mango doesn’t really have anything to do with the ripeness. Instead, squeeze the mango gently similar to an avocado. The mango is ripe when the outside gives just a bit. If a mango is not ripe, leave at room temperature for a couple days.

How do you cut a mango? First, find the stem, which kind of looks like a nose. Then, cut through the mango about a quarter-inch off center from the nose. If you run into the seed, just gently work your knife around it.
Flip the mango around and cut off the other side. Now, score the flesh of the pieces you cut into a checkerboard pattern with a knife and scoop it out with a spoon. It’s that easy!

Another great thing about mangoes is that they are a versatile fruit that work with both sweet and savory dishes, like smoothies or salsa. With 100% of the vitamin C you need in a one-cup serving, you cannot only enjoy the delicious taste but a nutritious punch as well!

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