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Aug 28, 2003 10:05 AM

green mangoes?

  • j

In yesterday's Times' discussion of restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, there was an assertion by the reporter (was it RW Apple?) that green mangoes were not unripe mangos but a particular kind of mangoes that were green in color. Never heard that one before and I dont quite believe it. Maybe some of our mango/asian cooking experts could comment?

Hard green mangoes - the sour kind, rather than the almost-ripe kind - seem to be pretty hard to find in NY - I am also wondering whether anybody has found a reliable source for these.

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  1. They are plentiful, in season, in Jackson Heights, Queens. That's what I use to make mango chutney. Try Patel or Subzi Mandi.

    1 Reply
    1. re: micki

      I buy them from an indian store in the East Village on 1st Avenue between 5th & 6th Sts. It's called Dowel. I also use them to make mango pickle.

      I was taught that green mango was an unripe mango, at least that's how it is in India, so that they can use them in the off season as well.

    2. I have a vague memory of a thread, way back when I was still in St. Louis. I don't have time for a "choweological dig" right now, but I'm pretty sure something was mentioned about a "special" mango, other than an unripe mango. I could be wrong; wouldn't be the first time! pat

      1. s
        Shreesh Taskar

        Quite true. There are mangoes that are naturally green in color and ripe. In India, where there are myriad varieties, there is a green mango used for mango juice or pulp.

        The flesh is yellow to light orange and is considered a 'poor man's mango' so you are unlikely to see it in tourist areas or upscale/mid scale restaurants. Most of my middle class relatives shun this variety, prefering the wonderfully fragrant Alphonso.

        The green mango (I forgot its name) is lightly fragrant, slightly acidic, and its flavor is slightly diluted by excess moisture. The flesh also fibrous, although the fibers are not as tough as some mango varieties we get in the US.

        1. Of the over 100 varieties of mango, the ONLY one that turns red when ripe is the miserable Tommy Atkins variety. Low in sugar, stringy, tough and it has an enormous pit. The ONLY reason it appears in the produce dept of a traditional store is because it turns red! Demand central American varieties (yellow, green & orange in color when ripe)from your Dept manager lest we all be stuck with this deplorable fruit. DO IT TODAY!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cynical Chef

            UGH. I share your disgust. Stupid grocers at Safeway. I ask them what variety the mangoes are and they say "they're from Mexico." What does that tell me? Then I ask them how big the pit is and they say big. Then I know they are Tommy Atkins.

            1. re: Cynical Chef

              That is a pretty cynical view. A nice ripe Tommy Atkins is neither stringy or tough. Redness alone does not indicate ripeness. I would argue you just aren't getting good quality fruit.

            2. I think this is true. I've had mangoes that are green outside but ripe --- orange-to-yellow flesh, fairly soft (but not mushy) and highly acidic. I think these are what the previous poster is describing when he talks about mangoes in India.
              Then there are the green mangoes that are sold by street vendors in Thailand and Vietnam --- a lighter green outside than the mangoes above, actually, but with light green, crispy, sour flesh. Sort of like a granny smith apple, but more intense. These mangoes never turn yellow or orange, they don't sweeten up, and they don't acquire the characteristic mango "softness".