One bite of its ambrosial saffron-yellow flesh, a whiff of its heady aroma and a taste of its flavour that blends hints of peach, apricot and pineapple, and most people would have fallen in love… with mango!
The succulent mango in varying shades of golden yellow, green and red is one of the most awaited seasonal fruits, promising a taste of sunshine in every bite. The array displayed in shops seem to have a voice that sing out, “It’s time to indulge.”
The mango is one of the most versatile of fruits, lending its unique flavour to a range of recipes from drinks and salads to main courses and desserts, changing them from mundane to exotic. With mangoes being used in Asian, Mexican, Indian and American recipes, it is no wonder that it is called the ‘King of fruits’ and is a favourite among the world’s most creative chefs.
Mangifera Indica is native to South Asia where it was cultivated over 4,000 years ago. Early explorers and travellers spread this fruit rapidly and now it grows in all sub-tropical countries and is used in cuisines of Thailand, Malaysia, India and Australia.
Besides its heavenly taste, the mango is a powerful antioxidant and an excellent source of Vitamins A, B, and C, minerals, and dietary fibre and potassium. Plus, it contains only about 135 calories.
If you are ready to cook up a mango storm, consider what you are making before you choose the fruit. A trip to the supermarket will generally give you a range of varieties to choose from.
The Indian Alphonso, which makes you feel like you are on a holiday in the tropics, dominates the popularity queue. The sweeter, pulpier varieties are perfect for desserts, but there are others like the Kent, Keitt or Tommy Atkins varieties that are quite suited for cooking the main course. Some newer and firmer varieties being bred for fibreless texture include Calypso and HoneyGold.
Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, Chinese five spice, red chilly, and vanilla all complement the flavour of mango. But I would strongly advice you to use them sparingly.