Lulu supermarkets in Saudi Arabia are holding their annual Mango festival to showcase the wonderful varieties of mango available. Although the festival started on the 22nd May, the seven days have passed by so quickly! Tomorrow, the 28th of May, is the final day of the festival. Head on down if you’re a mango lover!
Some of the varieties of mango available are Gudadath, Green Sweet, Chockanan mango, Kesat, Mahachanok, Alphonso, Badami, Totapuri, Rajapuri, Kesar, Rumali, Mallika, Sidhuri, Dushehari, Langra, Kent, Malgova and Kenya Apple Mango.
Aside from mangoes grown in India, there are mangoes from a far afield as Indonesia and Kenya, and also close as Yemen. Saudi grown mangoes are available too. These are from the Jazan region. Sadly, there are no organic mangoes. However, as mangoes are one of the foods that are lowest in pesticides, I don’t worry too much if a mango is organic.
The best mango varieties to buy are Alphonso and Kesar. These are the most succulent and the sweetest, I absolutely love these varieties!
Here are some tips on how to select the best mangoes.
Smell – the best mangoes will have a very fruity mango-ey aroma. If it smells strange, then put it back as the core is probably rotten.
Appearance– depending on the variety, colour may not be a sure indicator of ripeness. For the Alphonso and Kesar varieties, when the mango is ripe, it will have bright yellow skin. The skin should look smooth, have no visible marks or rotten/dark spots. Look at the stem end of the mango too. If the mango is ripe, often you will see the sticky sugars have been released from the mango.
Touch – The mango should be slightly soft but still firm. Too soft and the mango has started to rot inside. If it’s too hard, then it needs to ripen a bit more before you can eat it.
To ripen a mango, just keep it at room temperature, and it will ripen over a couple of days depending on how warm the room temperature is. To hasten the ripening processing, you can keep it wrapped in a brown paper bag.
Taste – Again, it depends on the variety but the ripest mangoes are sweet and don’t have a bitter aftertaste. The flesh should be orange when you cut it open.
If fresh mangoes are too much of a hassle, there are bakery goods and other ready made foods using fresh mango available.
I hope you all get a chance to taste some of the mangoes on offer! Remember, the 28th of May is the final day of the festival. 🙂