Monday, October 19, 2009

Recipe #22: Mango--breakfast, snack, dessert

As I said recently, I was without power in Pennsylvania for several days, and we had way too much snow in town for the middle of October. Perhaps in reaction to that, for lunch today I cut up a Brazilian mango that's been ripening on my counter this week. When ripe, they should be nice and yellow/red and very soft and juicy.

There are mangoes and there are mangoes. I love the "traditional" mangoes in Ghana, that are quite fibrous and stringy but juicy and wonderfully sweet. During mango season they're everywhere and you just reach out your hand when you want to eat. Having said that, it is much easier to work with the "improved" commercial ones for cooking, salads, juice, etc. Where I live we can sometimes get sweet mangoes from India, but usually the ones in the grocery stores, even when ripe, just don't have that distinctive flavor.

However, in case you haven't ever cut up mangoes before (and they can also be peeled and sliced, but I just had a single one here today), here's a simple way to prepare them. As the pictures show, you slice both sides off (the seed is long and flat, so make sure you're cutting along the "long" side of it), then make horizontal and vertical cuts along the cut side of each, being careful not to cut through the peeling. You can then either turn the mango over and push the peeling to make the cut part form little cubes that are easy to eat with a spoon. If you do this, one mango will serve 2 people.

Alternatively, you can cut the cubes off, and serve them directly in a bowl.

How jealous I am of my son in Tema and my husband in Belo Horizonte right now!

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