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Many of the more common mango varieties, including Tommy Atkins and Ataulfo are in season during summer months. Digging into cubes or slices of raw mango is a no brainer, but this sweet and floral tropical fruit can also be broiled, grilled or baked into pastries and desserts. Read on for advice on shopping, prepping and storing mango.
How to shop for mango
- When shopping, don’t worry too much about color. Depending on the variety, mangoes come in many different hues, so color isn’t always a good indicator of ripeness.
- Ripe mango often smells aromatic and fruity, especially near the stem end.
- Look for mangoes with smooth, blemish-free skin.
- Seek out mangoes that are heavy for their size. Gently squeeze the fruit—it will be firm, but give slightly when ripe.
How to store mango
- Store unripe mangoes at room temperature. They’ll continue to ripen, becoming sweeter and softer. To speed up the process, place mangoes in a paper bag and keep them at room temperature.
- Once ripe, move mangoes to the refrigerator to prevent them from over-ripening—they should last for 3-4 days.
- Peeled, cubed mango can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
How to prep mango
- You can buy a mango splitter to remove the fruit from the large flat pit in the middle, or simply cut the flesh away using a large sharp knife. The resulting mango halves are often called “cheeks.”
- To slice a mango, hold one half or cheek in your non-dominant hand and use a small sharp knife to carefully cut slices into the flesh, making sure you don’t go all the way through to the skin. Use a spoon to scoop out the slices.
- Another option is to cut a crosshatch pattern into the mango half, then push the mango from underneath so it flips inside out and fans out the fruit—it will look a bit like a hedgehog. Next, use a knife to cut the mango cubes away from the skin.
- If you prefer, use a peeler to remove the skin from a mango, then cut the flesh away from the pit and cut or slice it as you like.
How to grill mango for dessert
Grilled mango: Heat the grill to medium-high and oil the grill grates. Peel and cut a ripe mango into ½-inch-thick slices. Grill the mango, turning as necessary, until grill marks appear, 3-5 minutes. Transfer the mango to a bowl, drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juice and sprinkle with brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Lauren Salkeld is a New York-based writer, editor and recipe developer. She's the cookbook columnist for Tasting Table and has written for Food & Wine, Rodale's Organic Life, Epicurious and Gourmet. See more of her work at laurensalkeld.com.