Summer fruit: Aussie mangoes
It’s the taste and aroma of summer. Aussie mangoes are now in peak season, and they’re just bursting to share their sweet and juicy goodness with fruit-loving Australians.
The well-loved Kensington Pride variety kicks off the mango season in September. It remains available until March next year. Calypso and R2E2 varieties follow in October before Honey Gold mangoes arrive in November. Once January arrives, so too do the later Keitt, Palmer and Kent varieties. These carry mangoes through to the end of the season.
There’s also a new variety of Aussie mangoes that’s currently wowing folks overseas. Katherine-based mango breeder Ken Rayner officially launched the Lady Jane mango back in 2013. There are now a few local growers producing the Lady Jane around Katherine and in Far North Queensland. However, it’s in Spain where this particular variety is taking off. There are now more Lady Jane plantations in Spain than there are here in Australia. At least 10 other countries are also looking into producing this Aussie-made variety.
Buying Aussie mangoes
According to Australian Mangoes, the best way to choose a mango is to use your nose. A ripe mango should have a fragrant tropical aroma that varies in intensity from very subtle to strong, depending on the variety. It will also be firm and give slightly to the touch. So avoid mangoes that are hard, very soft or bruised. Also avoid wrinkled or shrivelled mangoes, as they’ll be overripe and have an unpleasant fermented flavour. If you want your mango to last a few days at home before eating, choose a slightly firmer mango with tight skin.
If you find your mangoes aren’t quite ripe enough, store them at room temperature between 18 -22°C and out of the sun for a few days until the fruit ripens. They won’t ripen in the fridge, although ripe mangoes can be stored in the fridge. Also, don’t store your mangoes in a plastic bag – mangoes need air. Use a paper bag instead.
Mango ice pops
The perfect summer treat, these mango ice pops come with a spicy surprise.
3 large Aussie mangoes
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
5 limes, juiced
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1. Cut the cheeks from 1 mango. Carefully scoop out the flesh and dice. Place into a bowl. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
2. Peel and chop the flesh from the remaining mangoes. Place into a blender or processor with ½ cup lime juice and sweetened condensed milk. Blend or process until smooth.
3. Spoon the mango lime mixture and diced chilli mango alternately among 10 popsicle moulds. Insert paddle pop sticks and freeze overnight.
Replace the lime juice with half a cup of coconut cream for mango and coconut pops, or replace the chilli with 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves for a delicious fruit and herb combo. For a kid-friendly version, omit the chilli and replace the lime with orange juice.
For more recipe ideas using Aussie mangoes, head to the Australian Mangoes website.