summer is all about mangoes

I love mangoes – having grown up in a house where we had 2 mango trees in the backyard meant that there was no shortage of mangoes when in season. One tree had a mini tree house built into the branches and I would climb up sit on the platform and reach out to pick raw, half ripe or juicy ripe mangoes.

Mangoes can be eaten at any stage: green unripe mangoes are lovely sliced or diced and sprinkled over with salt and chilli powder or pickled with the addition of vinegar. The tart sweetness of half ripe mangoes again with chilli salt or sprinkled over with sugar was a childhood treat. There is nothing to beat a soft juicy ripe mango picked fresh off the tree and have the juice running down your arm and sucking the stone dry !

In Australia summer is heralded by the appearance of mangoes. In early summer they are still slightly tart and slightly astringent in mid summer they are juicy and packed full of flavour. I still miss the honey sweet, smoky flavour of the mangoes in Sri Lanka.

I use mangoes quite a lot – green mangoes in a salad to accompany spiced prawns, or for that matter ripe mangoes go well with prawns as well. Ripe mangoes on their own or diced into a fruit salad or made into a mousse or jelly is perfect for hot weather entertaining. According to asian tradition/ cuisines there are food types that are ‘heaty’ or ‘cooling’ yin and yang, and you are supposed to balance out the types of food to counteract the effects on your system. We were given milk or yoghurt after eating mangoes to cool down the ‘heaty’ effects of mangoes. I remembered this when I recently made a dessert of puréed mangoes. As the mangoes were slightly tart and astringent I added some natural yoghurt to the mango purée and set it with gelatine and it was light, refreshing and delicious and so very easy to do – this is going to be a summer favourite now.

Check out my recipe it is so easy to do and the only difficulty is waiting for it to set firm!