View Full Version : I'm so confused about MANGOES!

03-24-2002, 09:50 PM
I'm trying really hard to like this fruit. (Just did a search through old posts, and admist the huge number, I still didn't find a primer to mangoes.) I'm afraid I totally offended a fruit vendor who gave us a sample of a supposedly great mango -- and I made a terrible face as I tried to swallow it down. Then, I started to like it. So, a few questions ...

1) Do mangos (mangoes?) have a slightly pine-y taste? The one I sampled tasted like the juiciest peach ever that was sprinkled with gin. Yuk.

2) The pit of the mango is a stone, but is the funny-looking fruit around it edible? The one I had looked vaguely like a spaghetti squash inside!?

I'm confused. Suppose I'll head to Trader Joe's and find the frozen mango chunks I read about ...:confused: :confused: :confused:

03-24-2002, 10:12 PM
We (or should I say "I", since DD and DH don't like them) eat a lot of mangoes - my neighbor has a tree and they fall in my backyard!

I don't really recall the gin flavor, but hey, maybe I never noticed it.

When I cut them (there is quite a bit of waste with mangoes), I cut as close to the stone/pit as I can without getting into the stringy stuff. I don't know if its inedible, I just choose not too.

My neighbor (not the one with the tree), makes a wicked mango salsa with jalapenos!

03-24-2002, 11:42 PM
:confused: :confused:

How can I tell if Mangos are ripe? I buy mine at the supermarket, so i can never tell how firm they should be or what color. Any suggestions? I am SOOOO jealous that BosunsWife has a mango tree in the backyard!! I only have feed corn growing in my backyard!

03-24-2002, 11:58 PM
It took me a while to conquer this fruit. Yes, I did notice a piney taste, and I didn't particularly like it. I think the closer you get to the skin, the pinier(?) it tastes. Since the fruit is so fibrous, I have found that a flexible serrated skinny bladed (5 inch) knife works very well. I can work/saw it around the stone quite easily. When I get the stone out, I slurp and scrape as much off of it as I can. It's really messy, but the messier the better tasting it seems to me. I don't think you can go by color as to ripeness. I just let it set on the counter. When it 'gives' a little and has a sweet smell, I go for it. I'm usually pretty lucky.

Sure wish I had a mango tree i MY back yard! :D

03-25-2002, 05:02 AM
i felt the same about mangos. i knew i liked them when i went out and then i started to notice them in the grocery store. before i knew when or if they were ripe i would buy them on sunday and then eat them on thurs or fri- they would be ripe and sweet and juicy. i haven't notice a gin or piney taste but it is distinctive. i also love mango salsa-

BosunsWife too lucky!!!:D "my neighbor has a tree and they fall in my backyard!"

could you get this recipe please, pretty please? "My neighbor (not the one with the tree), makes a wicked mango salsa withjalapenos!"

i have one from oh i can't remember his name- i checked my xerox and the title of the cookbook is there but not the author's name. he's an older guy and goes around to different restaurants with a little notebook and pretends to take notes. his recipes are great but -gosh i hate these senior moments!!!:rolleyes: i'll post this one if anyone is interested!


03-25-2002, 06:18 AM
Add me to the "I want to like them but don't" group. I hate mangos and think that the juicy gin soaked peach analogy is perfect. Wouldn't be a problem if I liked gin, but frankly, I'd rather eat a juicy peach. Actually, I don't mind them too much pureed in sauces, but just as a fruit, yuck.

03-25-2002, 07:47 AM
I have trouble just eating mango (messy and somewhat challenging to cut). We very much enjoy mango salsa on fish. Matter of a fact we are having it tonight on swordfish.

03-25-2002, 07:49 AM
Maybe some of our international posters can help out here--I live in the states, but used to be married to a Scots and have a handful of british ex-pat friends. On the topic of mangoes, they are vehement--the ones we get in the states are not the best. Apparently there are something like 15 varieties of mangoes, but we only get 2 in the states (one which is best suited to growing in the US climate and one which is the hardiest to ship). Apparently they taste NOTHING like the ones you can get in India nad Europe--one friend described the US ones as fruit soaked in kerosene!

I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking maybe you'd have better luck seeking out an ethnic market, see if maybe they carry some of the other varieties.

03-25-2002, 07:53 AM
"juicy gin soaked peach"?

sounds like you have an over-riped mango...

I love mangos....to pick a nice one, it should give to the touch - but not too much, have a nice orange-yellow color - but that's not always true.... most importantly - use your nose, you should be able to smell it.............

03-25-2002, 08:31 AM
When I lived in Hawaii, we had a mango bush in our yard with all the ripe mangoes I wanted. I couldn't stand them. They have a sort of musky taste that doesn't agree with me.

I'd say they taste like a cross between a musk-melon and a peach, though the gin analogy works well.

Interestingly enough, I do like mango salsa. Go figure.

Luv to Cook
03-25-2002, 09:21 AM
Perhaps I can help a little with the mangoes!

Do not, do not, do not buy mangoes from a regular grocery store. These generally are very fibrous and not very sweet. Your best bet would be to try your local ethnic markets. Generally an Indian or Chinese one will carry the best mangoes. Once you have one of these you just may change your mind about them!

Good luck.

03-25-2002, 10:21 AM
Yes, i agree that the ones bought in regular stores are not that sweet compared to the ones I had back home. maybe you could try those from Asian markets.

Those around the seed is edible. I really liked to eat it using my bare hands by just biting the fruit around and sometimes sucking out the juice. It is really good. Back home, we had 2 types, yellow and green ones. the green ones are not sweet and you eat it normally w/ something salty.
the yellow ones are sweet and sometimes we make mango shake out of it.

03-25-2002, 10:43 AM
As long as I was in the Wegman's site for the avocado thread, figured I'd copy down what they said about mangoes. I'm not much good at picking good ones myself. Sometimes I've had mangoes which were great, other times they were nasty.


One of the most commonly eaten fruits in the world (along with bananas). Mangoes first originated in Southeast Asia over 4000 years ago and were brought to this country in the mid-1800s. Most commercially-grown mangoes come from Florida or Mexico. The flavor is a combination of peach and pineapple, but spicier and more fragrant (sometimes called the "tropical peach").

Like apples, the size and color varies with the variety.

Available February through June. Medium-sized, yellow in color with a red-orange blush. Mild in flavor and moderate fiber.
Tommy Atkins
Available April through July. Brightly colored red on the outside. Firm flesh with a small pit and some fiber. Good storage qualities.
Available June through August. A large fruit, primarily green-yellow colored on the outside, sometimes with a red blush. Fiberless and juicy with a sweet, rich flavor.
Available July through September. Green with a yellow cheek. Juicy and low in fiber. Rich flavor and a small pit.
Peel color does not indicate ripeness. A ripe mango will have a sweet aroma and be slightly soft to the touch, like an avocado or peach. A few brown speckles is a normal indication of ripeness.

Store unripe fruit at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. A ripe mango will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Uses & Preparation:

Eat alone, with or without a squeeze of lime juice.
Use in fruit salads or add to tossed green salads.
Blend in fruit shakes.
Here is the easy way to get at the juicy, golden goodness that surrounds its single, long, flat pit.

Slice off both sides close to the seed to create two halves.
Hold one half, peel side down, in your cupped hand or on a cutting board.
Score pulp in crosshatch pattern down to, but not through the peel.
Bend mango backward until the center pops up. Pretty served in this form on a fruit plate (with a knife). Or cube in the kitchen.
Mostly year-round.

Nutrition Information:

Saturated fat and cholesterol free.
Very low in sodium.
Low fat.
High in vitamins A and C.

03-25-2002, 11:05 AM
Aren't magoes the sexiest fruit? Well, maybe after blood oranges..........

BTW, the fruit nearest the stone is really really sweet and yummy. The "gin soaked juicy peach" does sound over-ripe to me. They should feel heavy for their size be a nice rosey color and smell like a mango. I like to cube mine by slicing off either side nearest to the stone and doing a cross hatch and then sort of flipping it out to cut off the fruit as close as possible to the skin.

03-25-2002, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by Luv to Cook
Perhaps I can help a little with the mangoes!

Do not, do not, do not buy mangoes from a regular grocery store. These generally are very fibrous and not very sweet. Your best bet would be to try your local ethnic markets. Generally an Indian or Chinese one will carry the best mangoes. Once you have one of these you just may change your mind about them!

Good luck.

No such luck. Bought mine at the Asian market. still think they're icky.

03-25-2002, 12:59 PM
I am another tried-to-like-'em-but-but-just-can mango person. However, I do like them "mixed in" with other things - such as mango-peach salsa. On the rare times I do need mango for a recipe, I use TJ's frozen mangos. My hairdresser, and mango lover, told me about them. She likes them quite a lot.

03-25-2002, 01:23 PM
A really good mango is delicious, in my opinion! But everyone has different likes and dislikes. As mentioned by someone, if a mango smells good, it's likely to be ripe. And I've used the method of slicing it on both sides of the pit, cutting a cross-hatch pattern in these, and then flipping it to pop the meat of the mango outward. This works really, really well. The remaining meat on the pit you can just slice off with a knife or eat directly off the pit.
I haven't had a mango in a long time! I agree that the ones you buy in the supermarket don't taste that good, I grew up eating the ones from the Chinese market.

03-25-2002, 01:43 PM
Our mangos were from the West Side Market -- tons of vendors with fruits from everywhere. (Boston people, it reminds me of the market by Fanueil Hall on the weekends.) I'm kinda bummed. I'll try 'em once more -- thanks for the tips on cutting them. :)

03-25-2002, 02:02 PM
Interesting thread. I love a good mango, but I've had my share of bad one. Sometimes they just aren't real sweet or they are too stringy. But when I get a good one, DD and I fight over it! I do use the Kerns frozen mango for making smoothies and sorbet. IMO - the quality is very good.

Lynn B
03-25-2002, 03:11 PM
OH! I LOOOOOOOVE mangoes! mmmmmmm! But believe me, I have had more than my share of "not very good" ones - especially in the rural northeast where I live!

But oh, when they are good, they are sooooo deeeeee-lishus! Keep trying - you'll know when you get a good one! :)


03-25-2002, 03:24 PM
I've had the piney, gin taste with mangoes, too. It took me a bit to figure out that the mango was not ripe yet. It's worth figuring out, because ripe mango is not piney at all-- it's wonderful!

I usually have to have a mango sitting on my counter ripening for a week. I wait until it is pretty soft and smells sweet.

They're messy to eat and juicy-- must be why they're considered so sexy! ;)

03-25-2002, 04:14 PM
I was told over and over again by Ashish's family that the mangos in India were better. Sure enough, they have a completely different taste. Sweeter, not at all piney, absolute heaven.

Add me to the mango (from any country) lover. They should yield when you press on them and like others have said, they should smell like a mango. (yep, i'm definately one of those people who will smell my fruit in the grocery store - tomatos, cantalop, peaches, mangos, the list goes on and on...)

Oh, and the easiest way to get at the fruit is to cut your chunks off as close to the pit, make the grid and turn the skin inside out as Svadhisthana recommended. Followed by the slurping of the pit of course :D

now, i want some mangos...


03-25-2002, 05:07 PM
I, too, didn't know how to eat mangos. I asked the head of the vegetable dept. and he cut one and gave me a slice, and it was
NOT PINEY!. You pick mangos the same was as you would a ripe avocado, there should be a 'feel" to the touch. If they are a little over the hill, that is when they get a little stringy around the pit, but it is still tasty. I have a different method than the usual one for slicing them.
I peel them with a vegetable peeler (potato peeler). Then I slice off the sides until the pit is left. This is NOT the way they tell you in the book, but it works for me. After I slice the fruit, I just put it in 2 dessert dishes, and we eat them for dessert. One is great just for the two of us.
When you bring the mangos home from the store, leave them out on the counter, don't refrigerate until they are ready to eat. When they are ready to eat, they will last a week or so in the fridge.
I get them by the box in Costco, about 9 or 10 for anywhere between $6 to $8.

03-25-2002, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by Luv to Cook
Do not, do not, do not buy mangoes from a regular grocery store. These generally are very fibrous and not very sweet. Your best bet would be to try your local ethnic markets. Generally an Indian or Chinese one will carry the best mangoes.

wow- and i like the ones from the grocery store! wait til i hit the indian store!

although i don't shop at a regular grocery store. it does seem to be a cross between a chain and a local hispanic market.

03-25-2002, 07:56 PM
DH and I are definitely mango lovers....but only from the Indian store!! I think it was Gail who posted the different varieties....
IMHO the Kent variety is the best available in the US!! No strings, no piney taste, and very easy to cut!

We eat so many mangoes in the summertime when Kent is in season that we are practically sick of them by September!

03-26-2002, 06:20 AM
OK, ok, ok, I'm going to try them again, this time from the Indian grocery...