Today is too hot to do much of anything but think about eating mango ice cream. It’s mid-July and we are in full-blown, all-out mango season on the west coast of Mexico. Tommy Atkins are everywhere, but we have also seen the sweet Ataulfos and giant Kents. Consuelo is who lives across from the kindergarten, is selling “Tommys”, four pesos for one kilo.
I bought ten kilos, which is a commitment.
Mangoes are picked green, just like bananas. They ripen within a week, becoming juicy, sweet and sticky. The food dryer, the freezer, the ice cream maker and me — we will all be working over-time for the rest of the week as my ten kilos of Tommys become tender to the touch and fill the house with their perfume.
A few have already ripened, and I know that mango ice cream will be the first thing to make. That is, after we eat our fill of plain, sliced, unadorned mangoes.
Here’s how to slice and dice a mango if you don’t know how to tackle this gorgeous, tropical fruit.
Stand the mango on its fat end, and slice the two cheeks off, cutting as close to the slender seed as you can without cutting into it. In the upper right of this photo, you can see a cheek that was cut too close to the seed. No matter, just trim out the piece of seed.
Place the cheek on a cutting board or cradle in the palm of your hand, and, with a paring knife, score the flesh into whatever size pieces you wish, being careful not to cut through the skin. I scored into 1/2″ dice.
Still holding the cheek in the palm of your hand, take a soup spoon and run its edge between the flesh and the skin, releasing the pieces of mango. Do this over a bowl so that no juice is lost. The juice can be added to a smoothie, your morning glass of orange juice or a glass of iced green tea. This photo shows the fibrous nature of Tommy Atkins. Their flavor and sweetness more than make up for the fibers.
Run the paring knife around the edge of the mid-section to remove the peel, and slice off as much fruit as you can from the seed.
A bowl of diced mango, ready for topping cereal, ice cream, or a dish of yogurt.
The weather page reports that it is 86 degrees F., “feels like 97 F.” with the humidity factored in. Mango ice cream is beckoning.
A tray of mango slices heading to the food dryer.
Once dry, they will keep for months in the fridge, but most likely will be long gone by winter. A piece of dry mango is as sweet as candy. I wish you were here to share the mango bounty with us.