Mango Cooking Tips: These are mangos in various stages of ripeness.

Mango Cooking Tips

 

These mango cooking tips will help you learn how to choose and store mangos for your recipes. I’ve also included mango history, legend, and lore.

Mangos are available in fresh, canned, and dried forms. Dried mangos must be rehydrated in warm water for about four hours before adding to your recipe.

Fresh mangos average about 4 inches in length and can range from 9 ounces to 4 pounds in weight. The larger the fruit, the higher the fruit to seed ratio.

Mango season is typically from May through September, but many markets carry mangos imported from warm climates year-round.

Most varieties will have beautiful coloring blending from yellow to orange to red, but coloring is not always an indicator of maturity. There are some varieties that retain some green coloring when ripe.

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Choose mangos that yield to gentle pressure, with no dark spots or blemishes. Use your nose: a ripe mango will have a very fragrant aroma. Ripe mangos can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to three days.

If the mangos are still hard and too green, place them in a brown paper bag on your counter for a few days to ripen. Mangos that are picked too soon will not ripen properly, even if left patiently to ripen in a bag, and will have a flavor reminiscent of turpentine.

On the other hand, green mangos are popular in many dishes from India, Thailand, and Malaysia. The flesh is tart rather than sweet. Its enzymes help break down tough connective tissues in meats, which makes it a great meat tenderizer.
Cut fresh ripe mango.
Usually available in Asian and Indian markets, dried green mangos are pulverized into mango powder or amchoor (also spelled as amchor, amchur, and aamchur), an East Indian seasoning.

How to Freeze Mangos

To freeze uncooked mangos, sprinkle sugar over the peeled, seeded, chopped fruit. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves in the fruit’s own juices, making sure the pieces are coated. Seal in an airtight container leaving 1/2-inch airspace or in plastic freezer bags with all air squeezed out.

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If you plan on using the frozen mangos as a sweet sauce, pack slices in a 30 percent syrup. To make the syrup, dissolve 2 cups of sugar in 4 cups of very hot water, and then chill the syrup before packing the mango fruit. Store in rigid containers with 1/2-inch airspace in the freezer at 0 degrees F. for up to twelve months.

Mango History

Native to southeast Asia and India, the mango is purportedly the most widely consumed fresh fruit in the world, with worldwide production exceeding 17 million metric tons a year. Mexico is the largest exporter of mangoes in the world.

The English singular form mango comes from the Latin Mangifera indica meaning mango-bearing plant from India.

The mango is a member of the Anachardiaceae family which includes poison ivy, [link url=http://homecooking.about.com/cs/atozfoodindex/a/cashew.htm][b]cashews[/b][/link], and [link url=http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/aa032700a.htm][b]pistachios[/b][/link]. It is also known as manga, mangga, mangot, mangou, and mangue in other parts of the world.

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Cultivated for over 6,000 years, the mango comes in over 50 varieties, ranging in color from greenish, yellowish, to reddish, often tinged with purple, pink, orange-yellow, or red.

If you live in a warm climate, you can easily grow your own.

Mango Lore and Legend

A Hindu legend tells the story of the mango tree growing from the ashes of the sun princess, who had been incinerated by an evil sorceress. The Emperor fell in love with the mango flower and subsequently its fruit. When the mango ripened and fell to the ground, the beautiful sun princess emerged. Thus, the mango has become a symbol of love in India, and a basket of mangoes is considered a gesture of friendship.

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Mango Cooking Tips, Storage, and Selection
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Mango Cooking Tips, Storage, and Selection
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Mango Cooking Tips: How to choose and store mangos for cooking. Plus, how to ripen mangos, history, legends, and mango lore.
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Peg's Home Cooking

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