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Fresh mangoes

The fruit flesh of a ripe mango is very sweet, with a unique taste. The texture of the flesh varies markedly between different cultivars, some having a soft, pulpy texture similar to an overripe plum, while others having firmer flesh like a cantaloupe or avocado. In some cultivars, the flesh has a fibrous texture. Mangoes are juicy with a sweet taste and high water content making them refreshing to eat.

Mangoes are widely used in chutney, which in the West is often very sweet, but in the Indian subcontinent is usually made with sour, raw mangoes and hot chilies or limes. In India, ripe mango is often cut into thin layers, desiccated , folded, and then cut and sold as bars that are very chewy. These bars, known as amavat or halva in Hindi, are similar to dried guava fruit bars available in Colombia. In many parts of India, people eat squeezed mango juice (called Ras), the thickness of which depends on the type of mango, with variety of bread items and is part of the meal rather than a dessert. Many people like to eat unripe mangoes (which are extremely sour; much more than lemon) with salt, and in regions where food is hotter, with salt and chili.

Peel and slice around the stone

Buying mangoes

Mangoes for immediate consumption should have a little give when gently squeezed. They will be sweet and juicy and relatively easy to slice and use. If it feels rock hard, then it will be like wood and you won't be able to do much with it. Once you leave it to ripen it will be fine, but no use until then.

Preparing a mango

Peel the mango with a mandolin. Slice the flesh off in layers around the stone, which is in effect, flat, similar to a cuttlefish shell, not what you would expect. How close to the stone you will be able to get depends again on its ripeness. However, the flesh you can't cut off will be very woody anyway.

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