We can all agree that fruit is delicious. But getting fresh and/or locally grown fruit comes with a luxury tax. I’ve been living in the northeastern United States for 17 years now, and I couldn’t tell you how much extra money I’ve spent just because I wanted blueberries in January.
Thankfully, there are some fruits that are plentiful and available year-round. Some of them freeze well and work in almost any dish you could think of putting fruit in, and even better if you can grill them.
What single fruit symbolizes all of these better than the rest?
Mangoes have 2 growing seasons: One in Spring/Summer, and another in Fall/Winter. Since the majority of the world’s production comes from equatorial nations, you can get them at a fair price 12 months out of the year. Being so plentiful, you’d almost expect to see them in more cuisine. Instead, they’ve been relegated almost exclusively to “flavored beverage”, “salsa” or “-rita”.
Not to say that a mangorita isn’t great - the majority of production does come from Mexico, like it’s roomate tequila - but don’t we owe them better than just a drink that your aunt enjoys almost as much as Appletinis? Answer: Yes.
When selecting your mango, don’t go by color. Like other fruits, color is just an indicator of where a leaf was on the plant, or the sun hit it directly. Useless! Go by feel and aroma, like you would with say.. peaches or avocado. It should have a little softness to it, and a light and pleasing scent. If it smells like a 2 day old smoothie, move along.
It makes me sad to tell you this, but the easy part is over. This is the part that sucks, but it’s a necessary evil. You need to cut and peel your mangoes.
There are thousands of different videos highlighting an even more fantastical number of techniques to get to the tastiness inside: vegetable peelers, fanning them out, using a drinking glass. As evidenced, these all work. These can also a pain in the ass. Observe the fastest and easiest way to cut a mango.
Now that the nightmare is over, you’re free to do as you like at this point. Eat your little cubes. Cut them into smaller cubes. Freeze them (as cheeks or cubes), dehydrate them, puree them.. or grill them. While I’m not a huge fan of the fan cut, it makes for great presentation and easier grilling. I suggest cutting the mango using AB’s method, and then cutting/fanning. Fanning before grilling will provide a better surface area for seasoning and heat, which means more of those delicious mango sugars will caramelize and turn into a happy little puff of awesome on your taste buds.