It’s mango season and quite possibly one of the best times of the year! Crates full of mangoes arrive into the UK from all over India which produces 51% of the world’s mangoes. Here’s a great little map pinpointing exactly where they come from.
The state of Andhra Pradesh produces the most but my favourite are the varieties grown in Gujarat – alphonso and the sweet, sweet kesar mangoes.
I am so impatient that I buy a box as soon as it hits the streets. £10 for 6 is the usual going rate at the start of the season – ridiculous because they are flavourless like supermarket mangoes and all that excitement is dissipated as soon as I bite into them.
When you get to the middle of the season, there are so many different suppliers to choose from. One box of twelve should be around £6 or £7 from a good Asian grocer. These are just perfectly ripe and juicy with so much pleasure to be derived from the simplicity of sucking every last bit of mango flesh from the stone.
The end of the season is my favourite. I love bargaining the box price down with the traders who by this stage are desperate to get rid of their stocks before they turn rotten. Last year I got one down to £2.99 for a box of twelve. I was so happy and I am certain they all tasted sweeter!
My girls eat them as they are. I like them with a squeeze of lime juice, a few chilli flakes and a sprinkling of sea salt.
You have a good few weeks left to enjoy mango season. Asian or Chinese grocers are your best bet or simply drive down any of the Indian neighbourhoods and you’ll see a man with a van. A few rules apply
- Bargain hard. It’s not a British supermarket!
- Turn all the mangoes in the box over and check for damage or decay.
- Have a sniff – there should be a wonderful aroma if they are ripe and ready to eat.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the trader to cut one open for you to taste test. If he’s confident in his stock, he won’t mind at all.
- You MUST suck the stone. This is the best part and if you haven’t done this before, get that apron on, roll those sleeves up and just pretend you’re 5 years old sitting somewhere no adults can find you having stolen one out of the fruit basket. You can worry about getting clean and not getting caught later!