For the last month, the tastiest mangoes available have been from India, particularly Alphonse and Kesar, though not forgetting the sublime Nam Dok Mae from Thailand. These are still available from Asian groceries and occasional supermarkets (M&S, Morrisons, Tesco).
Now, however, choice is increased with the excellent and delicious Sindhri mango from Pakistan which has started to appear as its season gets underway (spotted by the box in Morrisons). These are very sweet and flavoursome mangoes, though don’t give away much from their appearance. Early fruit may not reach the pinnacles of sweetness, but very soon they will be just delicious.
What to buy?
Varieties to look out for are:
- March to August: Nam Dok Mae from Thailand
- Late April to June: Indian Kesar, Alphonse and Badami
- Early June to July: Sindhri and Chausna from Pakistan
Nam Dok Mae is the smoothest, silkiest of mangoes, and has a lovely fragrant taste and a slender, attractive visual appearance;
Kesar and Alphonse are smallish mangoes, visually unappealing, but packed with flavour and sweetness in their orange flesh;
Badami is a lighter coloured mango, slightly firm and with a distinct perfumed fragrance;
Sindhri and Chausna are intensely sweet and reasonably fleshy fruit with a distinctive depth of flavour, but also no beauties from the outside.
Where to buy?
Supermarkets are only just starting to sell these varieties routinely, so the best place to buy them is at Asian groceries: usually sold by the box (at £6-8 for 4-6 fruit).
Morrisons and Tesco are currently selling Kesar from India and Sindhri from Pakistan (Morrisons £5.80/box; Tesco £6.50/box).
M&S sell Nam Dok Mae from Thailand at £3.50 each.
All these mangoes should be free of cuts and bruises and distinctly soft areas. Look for a reasonable firmness, though expect some ‘give’ in the flesh.
Colour is not always an indication of ripeness, so some green tinge to the skin is fine as this will quickly disappear to be replaced by pale yellow, deepening as they become more ripe.
A feature of the Indian and Pakistani mangoes is wrinkling of the skin: try not to buy them with much wrinkling, but don’t worry about some wrinkling as they ripen – it is often a good sign.
The peel of Alphonse and Kesar mangoes can become a little mottled as they mature, but this will not affect the flesh.
One feature of some Indian mangoes, Alphonse being an example, is that the flesh sometimes develops a sponginess. This is unattractive and can ruin the fruit, though a small amount can be scooped out with a spoon.
Keep all these mangoes at room temperature as refrigeration will affect the flavour.
3rd June 2017
©Good Fruit Guide 2017. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the very best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research. The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.