Mangoes: God’s Way of Packaging Sunshine!
As I tweeted this afternoon, my kitchen is now home to a pile of ripe, fresh Mangoes. Where they came from, I have no clue. Quite possibly my Dad’s doing, but the tree they were taken from is a mystery to me. We used to have a Mango tree in our backyard growing up, but it became sick and had to be chopped down. I realize now what a privileged childhood I had, because not only did I grow up with a Mango tree in the backyard, but with a few more: Guava (Guayaba), Avocado (Aguacate), Soursop (Guanabana) and “Apples of Gold” (Manzanas de Oro). Amazing what tropical weather can do!

As children, my brother and I would eat mangoes for the seeds. Inside, a large, hairy white seed awaited. We would suck on them and rinse them with cool water. Afterward, we’d place them in the sun and after a day or two we would have a hairy, dry monster we used to play with, draw faces on, etc. 

My dad eats about 4-5 mangoes a sitting. Growing up, no one ever used knives to chop, slice and dice a mango. With your front teeth you’d pull of the skin, revealing the droplets of sweet nectar and instantly start eating the pulp. Eating a Mango was messy business, so I can see my father’s point. You aren’t going to dirty your hands and shirt (if very juicy) for just ONE mango…Might as well go to town, sit with a bucket of Mangoes on a sunny day in the backyard and just eat, eat, eat. My hands can remember how sticky they’d get after a marathon of mango eating….


My grandmother’s backyard had a Mango tree also. Lucky her, she also had a tamarind and  a “Limoncillo” tree (commonly called Spanish lime, genip, genipe, mamoncillo, or honeyberry). I never ate Mangoes from her tree. They were the “Banilejo” type, fibrous and small; normally too ripe for my taste. 

I’ve asked around and quite a lot of people tell me they eat their mangoes with either: salt, vinegar, chili powder, etc. Influenced by Thai dishes, this might be very common. I’ve never tasted something other than a sweet, fresh Mango and don’t think I’d ever do the salty Mango. Some things are better left to Mother Nature. I do enjoy making granola squares with it and might be baking some tomorrow.

How do you eat your Mango? Is it commonly found where you live? Have you ever cooked/baked with it?

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  1. Try just a touch of salt on a really ripe mango sometime. My fiance is Colombian, and when we’re in Medellin, there is seriously nothing more delicious than the fresh mango you can get by the side of the road, served with a tiny packet of salt and a wedge of lime. I could eat about a hundred of them- the salt does something magical to the sweetness, just like it does with salted caramel.

  2. Yummm!! Your mango season must be earlier than ours. We won’t start getting them until about June. My father-in-law’s mango tree also fruits every other year (hoping for a big crop this year!). I love them except the leaves make a huge mess.
    In the bakeshop we make a mango cream cheese square – it’s lightened with whipped cream on a shortbread crust with the sweetened mango chutney on top. SO delicious! I also like dried mangoes. My husband just dies for pickled mangoes and also li hing mui mangoes.