Dave, an employee in the produce department at my local Sobey’s grocery store, supplied the inspiration for this blog post. I knew that mangoes and dragonfruit are not grown here in Canada due to our weather conditions. I also know these two exotic fruits are delicious, but that was about the extent of my knowledge of them.
Mangoes are imported from Brazil, at least the ones at the Sobey’s in Kanata are. Most mangoes are picked and transported before they are ripe, then allowed to ripen in the store or in your home. Dave told me that Palmer mangoes however, are picked when they are ripe and then transported quickly to keep them at their peak. This difference in harvesting makes the Palmer variety of mango sweeter without the characteristic sharpness of other mangoes. Palmer mangoes also have a pale yellow flesh instead of the typical orange. Palmer mangoes are slightly more expensive than other varieties because of the expedited shipping, but well worth the difference…
Whatever the type of mango you have, you can tell when they are ripe by pushing gently on the skin with your finger, similar to testing the ripeness of an avocado. If the skin dents, it is ripe. If it remains undented, it is not yet ripe, and will taste bitter.
The biggest obstacle when cutting a mango is the large, almond-shaped pit in the center of each mango. Cutting or slicing mangoes can be done in several ways…
- slice the mango in halves or thirds, then carve a checkerboard pattern into the flesh of each slice without cutting into the skin. From the skin side, push the cubes so that they pop out.
- cut the mango in wedges, using the pit as a guideline for the knife. Then eat the pulp from the skin, similar to eating a slice of watermelon.
- after cutting in wedges as described above, use a drinking glass to remove the skin from the pulp. Simply put the lip of the glass between the skin and pulp of each slice, and gently push. The glass should slide along the wedge, neatly and cleanly removing the skin.
Since our mangos are imported from Brazil, I thought I would ask my favourite Brazilian, my son’s girlfriend, whom I have nicknamed Stella Bella, which way her family peels mangoes. Apparently mangos are not such a big deal in Brazil, probably like our very common apples here. She did say they use the drinking glass method to peel them…
pictures compliments of thekitchn.com
I also had the opportunity to taste test white and red fleshed dragonfruit. Dragonfruit, also known as Pitaya are imported from Asia. Dave suggested that red fleshed dragonfruit cut into cubes and frozen makes great ice cubes for the Christmas season. The mild flavor of the fruit will not alter the taste of the cocktail and the bright red color adds a festive touch.
Thanks to Dave and Stella Bella for the lessons learned!
please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE It is guaranteed to make you LOL.