I grew up in Ecuador, a country that boasts beautiful mountain ranges, lush rainforests, ocean-side beaches, and the tropical climate where mango trees thrive. There was a mango tree nestled in the backyard of my childhood home, and harvest season was a highly-anticipated event every year—a time we could pick, eat, and share a seemingly endless supply of mangoes.
Mangoes, a global fruit favorite
Mangoes are popular all around the world, but the tropical fruit is still considered new to some—particularly those in the United States. Mangoes are a superfood, containing 20 vitamins and minerals. Just one cup provides 100% of the daily recommended Vitamin C requirement and comes in at only 100 calories, according to the National Mango Board. In fact, now is the best time to eat a mango.
Mango season is in full swing from April through July, with product primarily coming into the United States from Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Mangoes are also imported from Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil for year-round supply, but sales tend to align with peak season, increasing in early April and remaining high through the Fourth of July. And, of course, any Cinco de Mayo celebration wouldn’t be the same without the mango, often becoming a Cinco de MANGO celebration!
How to cut and select the perfect mango
Mangoes, like peaches, soften as they ripen. Squeeze gently to judge the ripeness. A ripe mango will give slightly to pressure.
If you have a few days, you can select a firmer mango and leave it at room temperature. To speed up ripening, place a mango in a paper bag and leave it on the counter.
Pre-cut mangos are a great option for grab-and-go if you are new to the fruit but still want to join in the Cinco de Mango fun. If you are up for learning something new, the National Mango Board has shared a step-by-step process on how to cut a mango.
Mango recipe ideas to celebrate Cinco de Mango:
- Snacks. Mango salsa pairs well with guacamole. Add tomatoes, onions, avocados, and limes to your mangoes for an easy dip. They can be grilled and topped with lime juice, chili powder, and salt for a street-food favorite.
- Salads. Mangoes are popular companions for green salads and fish dishes, so purchasing mangoes with other tropical fruits—like pineapple, kiwi, and papaya—can create a delicious, tropical meal.
- Drinks. Have fun with mango drinks—with or without alcohol—to enjoy a taste of the tropics at happy hour or Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Try mango-ritas, mango coladas, and mango daiquiris. One favorite of mine is a Mexican drink, perfect for Cinco de Mayo: Mangonada. Mangoes can be sliced, diced, or blended to create marinades, juices, and smoothies.
- Desserts. Mangoes can even be baked into cheesecakes or made into frozen sorbet. Get creative! Mangoes can be swapped out for traditional fruits in most recipes.
Have fun with mangoes! Here’s a video of one of our favorite recipes, mango cinnamon jam: