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What to do with mangos

Fred, like his father Carlos, loves mangos.

Fred, like his father Carlos, loves mangos.

Yes, it’s mango time again. If you have never lived in the tropics you are probably used to fruit season. That is, the summer months when all local fruit becomes available. While there are specific times when fruit reach their peak availability, it is always going to be during the warmer months. Because of cheap shipping, Washington state apricots appear in Florida in the Spring and California avocados in Washington state in the fall. But, in the tropics, things are different.

Some fruit, bananas and avocados as examples, are available all throughout the year. As for others, mangos, papayas and such, they have their seasons. The good news is that you pretty much have some interesting fresh fruit available in any month. Well, right now, mangos have just started appearing. If you love mangos, wouldn’t it be great to have them whenever you want?

Right now, what to do with them is eat them. Besides just chowing down on them, you can add them to cereal, make a mango smoothie, bake mango cobbler and much more. But, what if you want a mango in August or December? Here is an approach I learned from a restaurant in Cobano Costa Rica.

At the peak of the season the price of mangos goes to just about zero. That is, everyone has them and they won’t keep as fresh fruit so they have to get rid of them. The solution I saw when I lived in Seattle was that they were dried and shipped to the US. But, 12+ years ago the price was around $13/lb. While I would buy them once I learned that mangos essentially become free, that seemed a bit high.

What the restaurant would do is buy lots of them when the price was around zero, cut them up and freeze them. They were the only restaurant where you could find a mango smoothie in September.

I have too much freezer space and a freezer is more efficient when it is full. So, my plan this year is to make mango cubes. Buy a bunch, peal them, toss them in the blender and then freeze them in ice cube trays. Hopefully I will have a bag of cubes left in September or even January.

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