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Tagalog (Filipino):
Mangang kalabau
or Mangga

Mango tree photo.
Mango tree
Mango photo.
Mango photo.
Ready to eat Mangos

There are dozens of varieties of mango grown throughout the tropics. All commercially grown mangos are hybrids, and each country has its own favorites. The native varieties are usually stringy, with a sour flavor similar to turpentine. They can be pickled, but are unlikely to be eaten fresh. The sap in the leaves, stem, and other parts of the mango are irritating and can be allergenic, causing skin rashes in those who have been sensitized.

Mangos come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. The Philippines produces beautiful yellow mangos with a deep orange flesh, abundant juice, and a heavenly taste. In Bali we found white mangos with dark green skins and white flesh. They looked like avocados, had very little juice, and a taste that was pleasant but no match for the yellow mango. Other mangos are light green or reddish. The light green mangos we have eaten in the Philippines have a very dark, orange flesh which is sweet and quite delicious. Again, the taste is different from the other mango varieties.

All mangos have a large, flat seed inside and the skin is not edible. Mangos can be eaten green (unripe), usually in salads or as pickles or chutney. Ripe mangos (some of which are green in color) are usually eaten fresh, either alone or mixed with other fruits. They can also be used in pies or crepes, jams, ice cream, etc. Our favorite breakfast includes a fresh, ripe mango — eaten plain. It is delicious.

Slicing a mango is easy if you hold it upright (stem end up) and slice down along the flat side of the seed. There are fibers attached to the seed, and by slicing from the stem end you are cutting "with the grain". This avoids getting the blade trapped in the fibers. Once you have cut away both sides of the fruit, it is convenient to cut the flesh into cubes by slicing down almost to the skin (leaving the flesh still attached to the skin), and then invert the whole thing so that the cubes of fruit "pop" out. They are then easy to remove from the skin. Hopefully photo #3 will help to make this all understandable.

Market and storage tips — Mangos are picked green and allowed to ripen off the tree. No general rule can be given for identifying a ripe mango as each variety is different. Ask the vendor until you become familiar with the local varieties. Mangos will not ripen under refrigeration; they simply dry out. When provisioning for a passage, buy big mangos in various stages of ripeness. Wrap in aluminum foil for storage, and only refrigerate ripe fruit.


Banana  |   Coconut  |   Custard apple  |   Dragon Fruit  |   Duku/Langsat

Durian  |   Jack Fruit  |   Lime  |   Mango  |   Mangosteen

Melon  |   Papaya  |   Pineapple  |   Rambutan  |   Salak

Sapodilla  |   Soursop  |   Star apple  |   Star Fruit  |   Water apple

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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
Website designed and created by Lois Richter, expanded by Jim.
Created 6/2003. All photos are © 2003 by Jim Richter.