There are two good things about this time of year – it’s summer and mangoes are back in season! Because the only thing better than holidays, are holidays filled with the fragrance and flavour of summer, which is exactly what you get every time you indulge in sweet, succulent mangoes.
Whether you’re heading for the ‘Berg, beach or bush these holidays, or taking it easy at home with afternoon and suppertime braais, put summer on your plate with tantalising mango mains, sides or desserts.
How about a real summer stunner- whip up a batch of sticky Cajun chicken and mango skewers, with chicken marinated in Cajun spice and mango juice, skewered and grilled, and served with fresh mango slices and lime wedges?
Or an exotic mayo-less mango coleslaw of grated carrot, shredded red and white cabbage, and chunks of mango, drenched in a dazzling dressing of mango juice, olive oil, chopped chilli and sesame seeds?
Or a moreish mango-misu (that’s low-fat mango tiramisu, to you and me!), with finger biscuits soaked in mango juice placed in alternating layers with fresh mango slices and low-fat cream cheese and vanilla yoghurt, topped with berries and mint leaves. Yes, this means you have permission to have dessert for breakfast! Can you say mmmmm mangoes? We can!
To wow your guests with these mango marvels, start looking for the different South African mango cultivars on our shelves. Tommy Atkins mangoes are first to arrive in early December and are available into January. You’ll know this medium to large-sized fruit from its thick skin and sunset orange-red colouring.
Next up is Kent and Keitt, both available from February to early April. These green-skinned mangoes (Keitt has a slight apricot blush) remain green even when ripe and ready to eat, and boast firm, fibreless, fragrant flesh with a sweet flavour.
To judge ripeness, gently squeeze the fruit: ripe mangoes ‘give’ slightly under your fingers. Firm mangoes ripen at room temperature over a few days.
Mangoes are high in vitamins A, C, and biotin, and the mineral potassium. This yummy fruit is also a source of vitamins B1 and B6, and free from fat, sodium and cholesterol – so many more reasons to pack a mango in your padkos, cooler, or along with your braai pack these holidays!