Mango Hometown Tour — Charlotte Edition

I was invited to attend the Mango Hometown Tour with the National Mango Board (NMB) and local sponsors Harris Teeter and Fran’s Filling Station. Along with many other women in the Charlotte community, we were treated to a “how-to cut a mango” demonstration, information about this powerhouse fruit and lunch.

How to Cut a Mango

“All photos © 2008 National Mango Board and used by permission of the National Mango Board. All rights reserved.”

Being a foodie, I can say everything was a visual feast and mango centered–highlighting the many uses of this versatile fruit. The education was priceless. We were taught how to not only pick the perfect mangos, but given recipes that ranged from savory to sweet, as well as taught how to eat a mango without cutting it. I’m currently on Weight Watchers and finding out mangos only have 100 calories per cup, but 100% of my daily vitamin C in that serving made me want to shout “Watch out cold and flu season!”

When eaten, mangos deliver a magnificent sensory experience and depending on how ripe they are, you can use them for a tart, refreshing slaw, an amazing salad such as the  Crab and Mango Salad , an entree or an amazingly irresistible dessert, like a Mango Fool.

I thought mangos came in one shape and size, but boy was I wrong. There are six different varieties of mangos: Ataulfo, Francis, Haden, Keitt, Kent and the Tommy Atkins. Each with their own unique flavor, texture, color, shape, and cues to ripeness. Their availability depends on the season, but I’m linking you to a fantastic, downloadable cheat sheet from the National Mango Board about varieties as well as a how-to on selecting and handling mangos.

Handling and Selecting Mangos:  http://www.mango.org/en/about-mangos/selecting.aspx

Mango Varieties and Availability: http://www.mango.org/en/about-mangos/varieties.aspx

I’m going to share some great photos I took of the event and will also be sharing video of the event later this week along with my experiences cutting a mango properly the first time. Let’s just say, my mango skills are not up to par and it’s my hope to make gorgeous slices and my favorite mango salsa as beautiful as it is edible.

Country ham, asparagus and goat cheese salad with mango three ways

It’s safe to say that the lunch tasted as good as it looked. And with spring quickly turning to summer, it’s definitely the time of year to start incorporating mangos into that seasonal menu.

Other Featured Stories:

Zensible Mama: Go Mangos! – National Mango Board Charlotte Tour

 

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