There may not be a more versatile fruit on the planet than a mango. It can literally be served with any kind of dish. It can be eaten raw or cooked. It can make a healthy drink or a nutritious and healthy salsa. It is pretty much available year-round and considering it is a tropical fruit, usually pretty inexpensive.
So, why are mangos considered one of nature's wonder foods? Well one major reason is that eating one mango will give you more than your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, iron and beta-carotene. It is also of the best foods for providing you with antioxidents, which aid in preventing cancers and heart disease. If your a woman, mangos will greatly aid in balancing your hormonal system. Suffer from upset stomach problems, nosh on a mango!
At last count there are an estimated 1000 different varieties of mangos. Though mangoes are truly one of nature's wonder foods, there is a downside to this fruit for some people. The mango is related to the plants in the poison oak and poison ivy family and actually contain some of the very same oils. So, if you have strong alergies to poison oak or ivy, have someone else peel the mango for you (the oils are in the skin and leaves of the fruit).
One of my favorite ways, other than raw and spritzed with fresh lemon juice, to enjoy mangos is with a very simple dish called Pickled Mangos. The spices used in this dish bring out the full flavor of this fruit which has been eaten for over 6000 years!
Ingredients needed to make Pickled Mangos (serves 4):
- 10 mangos, unripe and green
- 2 Tbs. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 3 Tbs. salt
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- ½ cup sesame oil
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- With a sharp paring knife peel the mangos. Cut the fruit away from the elongated pit. Cut the fruit into cubes and discard the pit.
- In a large bowl whisk together the chili powder, turmeric, salt and vinegar. Add the mangos and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and chill at least 2 days.
- In a large sauté pan or skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and mangos and sauté 5 minutes.
- Spoon into a serving bowl and serve.
Chef's Note: Unripe mangos are rather easy to find considering most supermarkets never have ripe fruit any more, just unripe. If by some strange chance your market has put ripe fruit out, ask the clerk to get you unripe ones.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."