8 ideas for the bounty of mangoes this spring in Australia

December 8 2011 | Guest post by Theresa

This reader-submitted post originally appeared on The Traveling Vegan. Click here to learn more about submitting your story.

As America picks over Thanksgiving leftovers and gears up for Christmas, I'm loving summer here in Australia, because summer = mango season. My partner Andy and I are mango-obsessed, so I was not terribly unhappy to leave the US in the end of October, saying goodbye to its snow.

Especially because it meant coming home to this:

Within two weeks of coming home, we have welcomed 100 mangoes into our home. Not all at once — the most we had at one time was 59, but we busily eat up as many mangoes as we can and are always in search of more.

You might think this is overkill, but last year's mango season had so much promise before being cruelly cut short by the wet season. So we couldn't resist, on the bike path one afternoon, the mangoes that looked to be within reach that were just starting to blush. We pulled over, and found that they were higher than they looked, and even Andy's extreme 6'6" reach couldn't grab them. Did we let that defeat us? Hell no — Andy boosted me up, and somehow we managed to come home with a backpack full of big, Bowen mangoes.

Later in the week, we went out with our friends and their amazing telescopic pruner.

Then we went to the university and scoured the trees there.

And the next weekend we bought two buckets at the markets. I did mention we were a bit obsessive, right?

We've been eating a few fresh mangoes every day. Usually straight up, but also with ice cream, crumpets, or tapioca pudding. Or, this morning, in pancakes.

In smoothies.

In green mango salad (made with fresh tumeric, chilli, and lime juice from our friends' garden — delicious!).

And in spicy mango salsa, on burritos.

Our goal, in addition to eating as many fresh, delicious mangoes as possible, is to preserve them in lots of different ways, so we can enjoy mango-deliciousness all year round. I wish we had a preserving kit, or even the gear that let us jar stuff in a sterile and long-lasting way. I also wish we had a giant freezer. But we don't. We do, however, have a dehydrator, a bread maker, and an ice cream maker. So we put them to use.

We've had a few batches of dried mango slices.

And fruit leather.

And we've made some mango-ginger-lime sorbet, which admittedly won't last us all year long, or even all month long, but it is delicious.

And we put the breadmaker to use on a few batches of mango jam.

We've got four methods of getting more mangoes in our diets. First, for mangoes that are on the underripe side — peeling the skin works best.

Just be careful not to peel yourself. It hurts.

For mangoes that are quite ripe, score a shallow X in each cheek of the mango, then peel the skin off with your hands. If you want just the cheeks of the mango, and aren't so fussed about the seed (for example, to serve at a dinner party with tapioca pudding…) you can just cut the cheeks off and scoop out the fruit with a spoon. If you just want to eat the mango, and not bother with cutting, our favourite is to cut off the cheeks, score, and then pop out.

Barring any mango-wrecking rains, we should be living this lifestyle for another few weeks at least. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

  1. Yay this! I love mangoes and I always manage to mutilate them by peeling them incorrectly.

    Also – you can make jam in a bread machine? Does everyone know this? How?!

    Final mango-love note: I used to work at a vegetarian restaurant and an chef slipped me a few slices of "champagne mango" – pale in color, subtle in flavor, and I (swear!) somehow effervescent. I've never been able to find one again. The mango that got away.

  2. Awesome post…but can anyone tell me….how do you cut the mango away from the seed? I always feel like I am wasting a huge portion of my fruit because of the stupid seed in the middle. Any mango experts wanna chime in?

  3. My husband loves green mangoes dipped in fish sauce, it's an Asian thing i guess. I eat green mangoes with lime/lemon juice, salt and chili powder.
    Our favorite dessert is coconut sticky rice with mango. I prefer this to cake! Our local Thai restaurant makes the best version, a beautiful little rectangle of the coconut sticky rice, half a mango, cubed on top, drizzled with sweetened light coconut milk and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Yummy!

  4. If you have dogs or bunnies make sure you pass the skin and stone to them (maybe keep the stone from the dogs). Bunnies will literally suck the stone dry. LOVE mango season! We were up in Port Douglas for our honeymoon this time last year and were SO disappointed by the lack of Mangos. We had to make do with Mango wine! Its pretty darn awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I live in Darwin, have the good old mango tree in the backyard and love making my mango daquiris…Heres my recipe:

    Makes 4-6 mango Daquiris (each 30 ml = 1 shot)

    4 x ripe mangos – flesh diced and frozen for a cpl of hours
    180 ml barcardi (white rum)
    60 ml vodka
    120 ml cointreau
    90 ml lime juice
    ice
    fresh mint to garnish

    Place all ingredients (except mint) or part thereof (eg: half ingredients for 2 serves) into a blender and serve with a garnish of mint.

  6. Theresa….

    You need an ice cream machine to make some mango sorbet, ice cream and gelato!!!

    Also you need to buy the The Tropical Gardener's Gourmet Guide: Cooking Up a Storm in a Top End Garden book if you dont already have one. Its my fave recipe book and covers all tropical fruits and veg in the top end.

    • omg! We're moving to Halls Creek next year (top end WA) and I am SOOOO buying this book! I've been on the lookout for gardening books that'll specify what to grow when at the top end too. Most stuff is for the temperate climate ๐Ÿ˜›
      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Also, my parents live in Carnarvon (mango capital of WA) and they often just freeze chunks of mango fresh. Then the bust it out 6months later for for smoothies or to put on top of ice cream. I'm not a mango fan, but they love it! I'll definitely forward this page on to them for more ideas!

  7. Freeze the mango, peeled in chunks… and push through an ice-shaving machine (or put in a blender). REAL mango ice-cream. No other ingredients needed. Bliss.

  8. I live on the Central Coast of New South Wales & my house has 2 large mango trees. I was so excited to discover this when i bought my house! Unfortunately out of the 6 years i've been here my tree has only grown mangoes for 2 seasons. This year it looks like it's going to grow some but not a huge amount. I have to buy a net for the tree because all the rainbow lorikeets destroy them! Hubby hates mangoes so they are all mine!!!

  9. Best idea of what to do with the bounty of mangoes in Australia: send them to the States! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wish I had mangoes… especially ones that don't cost over $1 apiece, and were actually ripe. I suppose Ohio/Michigan is not mango-conducive. ๐Ÿ™

  10. As I read this article, I'm listening to a bunch of bats munch on the mangoes in the giant tree next door.

    I've never been game to try and steal some from their tree (they seem content for the bats to eat them) since I'd need one of those long poles to get the fruit off the tree. It's a monster tree – I live on the third floor of the apartment building next door and the tree goes well past my roof. It could probably keep a small country supplied in mangoes this season.

    Meanwhile, the bats are loving it.

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