Florida Food: Early start to Mango season

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Mango Tree in West Palm Beach (credit: HolidayTripper.com)

Mango Tree in West Palm Beach (credit: HolidayTripper.com)

Florida Vacation Guide: Mangoes are ripening on the trees

It’s the time of year highly anticipated by fruit loving humans and iguanas and other Florida wildlife alike. Mango trees are heavy with fruit as the season begins for another year. This year, however, thanks to the early arrival of cold and warm spring weather, the season (which spans from May through October) has gotten a two week head start.

Why are the mangos early?

The cold snaps Florida experienced early this year triggered the mango bloom. Followed by a much earlier and warmer spring in many parts of the state than Floridians are used to, the conditions were just right for mangoes to grow.

How can you tell when a mango is ripe?

It’s difficult to tell from the naked eye alone, when a mango is ready to eat. Mangoes can look much different depending on the variety, so the best way to tell when a mango is ripe is by feel. If it’s a little bit soft to the touch  - if you can see a slight impression of your thumb print when you gently press on it – it’s ready to eat. You can also follow your nose. If it smells sweet it’s probably close to being ready.

What does a mango taste like?

Mangoes are very high in phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A, C, B-6 and E. But they are healthy and delicious. Some people describe the flavor of a perfectly ripe mango being as being a blend between a peach and a pineapple. The perfectly ripened mango is juicy and sweet and tastes like more. They’re used in salsa, chutney, jam and juice recipes but mangoes also taste delicious plain.

Grow your own mango tree

If you live in a warm climate, you can enjoy these delicious fruits by growing your own mango tree. Mango trees are very hardy and they don’t take a lot of special treatment to flourish.

Tell us…

What’s your favorite way to eat a mango?