Q: How do I make sure to get a kingly mango?

Each year Sydney eagerly awaits the tell-tale signs that summer is on its way; daylight savings, backpackers, streaky fake tans and last but not least the arrival of the mangoes.

For many Australians the mango is the taste of summer. As a versatile tropical fruit, the mango brings an instant flavour and colour hit to every dish, whether it be a salad, curry or tasty snack such as this Mango, lime and chilli salt recipe from Gourmet Traveller.

Australia produces approximately 45,000 tonnes of mangoes a year with the Sunshine State (QLD) taking the mantle of top producer at 72% of the total market. The potential for growth however has seen regions such as the NT increase their production dramatically, with NT now accounting for 23% of production. Currently 90% of the commercial crop in Australia is Kensington Pride, though new varieties such as Calypso™, R2E2 and Honey Gold™ are increasing in popularity amongst growers and consumers.

Here’s what to expect from your mangoes this season.

Kensington Pride (aka Bowen)
Appearance: Medium sized, oval fruit with orange skin tinged with pink/red and gold flesh
Flavour: Sweet, tangy
Background: The main mango variety in Australia, it was originally grown in Bowen, QLD in the 1960s after being introduced by horse traders dealing with India. The name Kensington was a reference to the name of the farm upon which one of the pioneers of the variety, Harry Lott, grew his fruit.

R2E2
Appearance: Round, large fruit with deep orange skin and a light yellow flesh
Flavour: Mild and sweet.
Background: A seedling derivative of the Kent, the R2E2 was first released for commercial production in 1991 and takes its name from the row and position of the original tree at the DEEDI´s Bowen Research Station. This variety is gaining popularity due to its long shelf life and high flesh to seed ratio

 Calypso™
Appearance: Smooth deep orange skin with firm, fibreless flesh
Flavour: Full sweet flavour- good for salads
Background: A recent addition to the mango varieties in Oz, the Calypso™ is a cross between the Kensington Pride and Sensational varieties. The high flesh to seed ratio and good shelf life make this a cost effective option for chefs

Keitt (aka Condo Mango)
Appearance: Medium to large, thick skin with green base colour and pink to bronze blush
Flavour: Sweet orange flesh with no fibre and a mild lemony taste
Background: Finding its feet in the 80s in Australia, the Keitt is now a top four performer. Keitt received its name from the name of the woman who owned its original plantation .

Honey Gold™
Appearance: When ripe the skin is golden apricot yellow with a natural waxy coating
Flavour: Sweet, aromatic and juicy. Firm, fibreless flesh
Background: The Honey Gold™ was cultivated in Rockhampton, when a Kensington Pride flower was inadvertently cross-pollinated with an unknown mango variety.

Palmer
Appearance: Small to medium sized, elongated fruit with a dark red blush that covers most of the skin
Flavour: Sweet and mild, the flesh is juicy and aromatic- similar to Kensington Pride
Background:  A small player in the Australian Mango industry the Palmer accounts for only 5% of total production, despite being grown commercially in QLD for over a decade.

Pearl™
Appearance: Smaller mango with flecked skin that has an orange to red blush
Flavour: Tangy and fresh
Background: Considered a good mango for the kitchen despite being smaller than other varieties,  due to its high flesh to seed ratio, long shelf life and firm flesh.

Brooks
Appearance: Medium-size oblong with no beak and a pale pink-orange skin with no blush when ripe
Flavour: Sweet, mild flesh
Background: One of the original Florida cultivars, Brooks- also known as Brooks Late, is a mango variety that originated as a seedling of Sandersha in 1901. Brooks is the latest maturing variety in Australia.

Kent
Appearance: Medium to large oval, skin is smooth with a red blush that borders on purple
Flavour: Rich and sweet- great for juicing and drying
Background:  Another descendant of Brooks (crossed with the Haden variety), the Kent mango was introduced to Australia in the 1970s.

FRESH MANGO AVAILABILITY:

Source: Australia Fresh

Bring the flavour of summer to your menu, contact Simon George & Sons for more information.

A: Unlike many other fruits, you can’t tell the quality of a mango by the colour of its skin. Instead select mangoes that are firm and heavy for their size with a distinct, pleasant fragrance. The skin should be bright with no black spots or mushy indentations.  If you want to eat the mango right away, gently squeeze the stem end with your finger and thumb, if it gives slightly, then the fruit is ripe. Unripe mangoes will ripen if stored at room temperature. Once ripe, you can prolong the shelf life of the mango by placing it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 2-3 days.

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