Mango Selection and StorageMangos 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 as there are some varieties that retain some green coloring.
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.
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 MangosTo 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.
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.
More about Mangos and Mango Recipes: Mango Selection, Storage, and Freezing
Mango Flavor, Texture, and Cooking Tips
Mango Lore and Legends
Photo © 2006 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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