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It is difficult to establish the exact origin of the mango tree, most probably from South East Asia and then onto South and Central America courtesy of the early traders, the variety is quite staggering with well over two thousand species. The fruits come from the large evergreen mango tree and are loaded with vitamins A, B and C and are a good source of both beta-carotene and potassium.


Unlike other fruits, the colour of a mango is not an indicator of ripeness, with so many types there are varying grades of colour from green, red, gold and yellow and these can all be ripe. The best way is to gently squeeze the fruit; if you can feel some give then the fruit is ready for eating.

Take a sharp knife and cut through the fruit lengthways from each side of the centre. Remove the wedges away from the central stone; the flesh can be removed in one of two ways. Take the knife and place between the flesh and the skin (as though filleting a fish) and slice away from the body. For even sized chunks make criss-cross cuts into the flesh, bend the fruit back with both hands to expose the cuts then gently remove with a knife or spoon. Discard the inedible skin.

The flesh of a mango is a brilliant orange colour which is sweet, moist and delicious to eat either on its own, as part of a dessert composition, a sorbet or puree. I have successfully paired mango with smoked chicken, prawns and lobster with other Asian flavours. Mango also makes excellent chutney and dried mango is used as a spice in Indian cookery.

See also amchoor

Content and picture Miles Collins