Friday, January 4, 2013

South American Fav. Fruit

Let me first extend best wishes to all my readers for a super prosperous 2013 and apologize for not posting weekly - I was away to my homeland in Guyana, South America and planned on posting to my blogs, but unfortunately I encountered problems accessing the net.

Guyana is full of colorful, fresh and tasty fruit, vegetables and seafood. My all time favorite fruit, which was in season and flowing in abundance during my trip - Mangoes, and on the plus side...a healthy, fruitful mango tree was producing sweet like suga, juicy mangoes right in my back yard.

Plum Mangoes Ready for Picking

Fresh picked mangoes ready for eating

Green mangoes with salt and pepper - a child hood favorite

Anytime during the night or wee hours of the morning, aside from the crowing of the roosters, I was awakened to the sound of ripe mangoes dropping from the tree unto our zinc roof. From that moment, it was a race to beat the hens and roosters from pecking at the dropped mangoes. You can always tell when the mangoes are ripening on the tree - the smell, and a slew of birds finds their breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

On an average, we gathered anywhere from 28-58 mangoes a day in the month of December,   a quick wash and bite on the bottom, peeling away the skin to reveal firm, rich, juicy inviting flesh which was devoured right to the large seed, then unto the next one.

Mangoes can be eaten green or ripe, and used in a variety of cuisines from different cultures.
Green mangoes are used to make a pickle that's called chutney, or sour that's used to accompany savory dishes.  
Ripe mangoes are used to make jam, it's also dried and preserved for a longer shelf life for world wide distribution, and can be dried and grind into a powdered form to flavor drinks like protein powders, milk shakes, or process into syrup for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

If you're now interested in trying this fruit, here are a few things to check before checking out:

  1. Make sure the mango is firm all over - avoid the ones soft to the touch
  2. Smell the fruit at the head, you should be able to smell that distinctive "mango smell":) - even exported fruit still has its original smell.
  3. There are different types of mangoes as is the color - if you're looking for a "ripe" mango avoid the ones that are all green.
Two different ways to peel  mango:
  1. Use a sharp knife and start from the head and peel as you would an orange then slice off the flesh.
  2. Slice the mango from the bottom side as close to the flesh, then repeat the other side. Cut cubes in the flesh and push up the skin to expose the flesh and remove from skin.
Enjoy and to your health.

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