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Could You Go A Mango?


By: Courtesy of Australian mangoes

Celebrity chef, Tobie Puttock, is encouraging people of all ages to 'Go an Aussie Mango' as the first fruits of this year's crop make their way from the Northern Territory to supermarkets and green grocers nationwide with early indications that it will be a bumper bounty. A good wet season combined with a long dry winter has produced a lavish flowering, with growers anticipating strong volumes of mangoes this summer. The industry is now keeping its fingers crossed that the favourable conditions and promising start to the season will continue over the next few months.

A true lover of the golden fruit, Tobie Puttock said mangoes are eagerly anticipated each year by Aussies young and old who eat their way through around seven million trays every season, so now is the time to 'Go an Aussie Mango' and appreciate the versatility of the country's most popular seasonal fruit.

"Every year I look forward to being able to eat a delicious home-grown mango on a hot summer night," he said. "They are the flavour of summer and are so quick and easy to prepare. I enjoy getting stuck into them fresh as a snack or as part of a tasty meal."

Tobie said mangoes are one of the few fruits that can jump between sweet and savoury. "One of my favourite ingredients to serve with mango is maple syrup, it's so amazing! I also love to play with its sweetness by adding chilli or salty flavours such as fish sauce or prosciutto," he said.

Mangoes make the perfect addition to chicken and seafood dishes and are also great in fresh summer salads, desserts, cocktails, smoothies or fruit salads. "The options are endless with mangoes and there's a wide range of varieties for the whole family to enjoy all summer long," Tobie said. "And the best thing is, you can enjoy the rich, succulent flavour and sweetness without the guilt of over-indulging. They truly are one of nature's super fruits bursting with nutrients to help you stay healthy this summer."

Home-grown mangoes are high in energy, low in fat, low GI and are a great source of calcium and vitamins essential for good health. They provide up to three times the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin C and are jam-packed with beta-carotene, fibre and potassium. Production begins in Darwin with supply having been available since August and due to peak in early October. Katherine (NT) and Kununurra (WA) will follow in mid-October, before Queensland - the producer of some 60% of the country's mango crop - comes on stream in November, with south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales completing the harvest from early January.

The yield is made up of several varieties with Kensington Pride as the most common (60%), followed by Calypso (15%) and "R2E2" (6%). Of the fresh fruit harvested, 90% is sold on the Australian domestic market and 10% is exported overseas. "By eating mangoes not only do you get to savour the goodness of these golden fruits, but you are also helping Australian farmers and supporting the domestic economy by purchasing seasonal local produce. So what are you waiting for? Go an Aussie Mango," Tobie said. For more information and delicious recipes, visit www.mangoes.net.au

The facts on Aussie mangoes

Australian mangoes are high in energy, low in fat and are a great source of calcium and vitamins essential for good health.

  • A 200g serve of ripe mango (the equivalent of less than one mango) provides you with up to three times your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

  • Mangoes provide more beta-carotene than any other fruit. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the body against disease and also fight the signs of ageing by
    assisting with the growth and repair of cells, tissues and skin.

  • Mangoes are a rich source of fibre and potassium, an essential mineral which can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, while soothing feelings of anxiety, irritability and stress.

  • Half a mango contains only 248kj (60 calories) and because mangoes are low GI, most of their energy comes from carbohydrate which is absorbed slowly into the body helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels and keeping you satisfied for longer.

    Buying and Storing

  • When choosing your mangoes, use your nose! A ripe fresh mango should have a fragrant tropical fruity aroma, whereas an unripe mango has no scent and can have an unpleasant chemical taste if eaten raw.

  • Some mangoes have a greater degree of 'blush' than others and different varieties naturally develop different skin tones, a ripe mango should be orange, red or rosy. Never buy completely
    green mangoes, as they may never ripen.

  • A ripe mango will give slightly to the touch but stay away from very soft or bruised fruit.

  • If you find your mangoes are not quite ripe enough, store them at room temperature between 18 - 22°C and out of the sun for a few days until the fruit ripens. Storing them in a paper bag for a few days will also help them along.

  • When stored properly, a mango should have a shelf life of about a week and while the mango will not ripen in the refrigerator, it can be kept chilled once ripe.

  • To get the best taste out of your mangoes, don't refrigerate them until they are ripe and never store them in plastic bags - mangoes need air.

    Production

  • Australian mangoes are grown in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.

  • Key mango growing regions include Mareeba/Dimbulah, Burdekin/Bowen, Yeppoon and Bundaberg in Queensland, Darwin, Katherine and Mataranka in the Northern Territory, Northern New South Wales, and Kununurra, Carnarvon and Gingin in Western Australia.

  • Queensland has the largest production of all states accounting for around 60% of Australia's mango crop.

  • The Australian Mango industry comprises 1000 growers across the country producing 45,000 tonnes of mangoes each year, worth $140 million.

  • Eighty percent of harvested mangoes are sold as fresh produce and 20% are processed. Of the fresh fruit, 90% is sold on the Australian domestic market and 10% is exported overseas.

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