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 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!