Mangos are quite possibly my favorite fruit. I always looked forward to mango season in West Africa, and they are one of the things I really miss since moving to the States. But a couple weeks ago I got a whole crate of mangos for free! They were past their prime - I cut out a bunch of bad spots - but I was able to get several bowls of delicious fresh fruit . . . and a few pictures. If you've never cut a mango, here's how:

cutmango

Notice that the seed is long and flat. Depending on how you're planning to use your mango, you can continue by cutting it into chunks like this:

mangopieces

 

In West Africa we had two types of mango . . . the "agric" mangos, which are smooth and firm like the photos above, and the "local" mangos which are smaller, juicier and very stringy. They're hard to cut into chunks, and hard to eat without getting tons of fibers stuck in your teeth. We had a giant, spreading "local" mango tree that yeilded about two bushels of mangos a day for three weeks straight. WHAT in the world should I do with all those mangos? Of course we gave most of them away. :-) But I also came up with the idea of making "mango butter" . . . like apple butter, which is one of my favorite toppings ever. It was a grand success and I was quite pleased!

 

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to strain out the fibers without a Victoria strainer or any sort of food mill. With a little experimenting, I figured out that it worked to use a colander with a wooden pestle. In this way, I ended up with a smooth sauce that worked great for mango butter. Excuse the blurry cell phone picture!

IMG 20140421 172108

 I just followed an apple butter recipe, like the one here. If you already have a family favorite, I'm sure it would be great! I canned it in small jars for easy storage, but freezing would work well too.

I have canned cut mangos just like peaches . . . but we like them better frozen. They're great dropped into a blender with milk and bananas for a smoothie! Mango and avacado are also great together.

 

The possibilities with mangos are endless. Check out a few of these delicious-looking recipes I found online:

Rice Pudding with Mangos

Mango Chicken Curry

Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Carmelized Mangos

 

What do you like to do with mangos? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?

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