Avid fans of the Ataulfo eager to embrace mango season this year should consider expanding their horizons and head to their local Little India. Sweet and luscious, albeit lesser-known, Pakistani and Indian mangoes make their appearance in Canada, depending on the variety, from late spring through the summer until early September. Leading the way is the plump oval Alphonso (saffron-hued pulp, rich flavour, floral fragrance), followed by the matte-yellow-skinned Chaunsa (creamy sweet, highly aromatic), the delicate, thin-peel Sindhri (tangy-sweet, short shelf life) and the curved-tip Kesar (intensely sweet, deep golden flesh).
Meanwhile, take a page from Mango Aficionados 101. Do not peel. Do not use mango splitters. Lay the fruit on a cutting board and, with a small sharp knife, slice horizontally, just above and below the flat oblong pit. You’ll end up with two “cheeks” and the pit section. Spoon out (or score) the flesh from the cheeks. Peel the skin from the pit and slice around it. Use slightly overripe mangoes to make a sweet lassi or smoothie.
The perfect mango pairing? A hot, sunny afternoon or sultry evening… outdoors.
VIKRAM VIJ’S SWEET MANGO LASSI
500 ml (2 cups) yogurt
350 ml (1½ cups) Alphonso mango pulp
75 g (3 oz) pineapple (optional)
50 ml (¼ cup) sugar
Combine ingredients in a blender with 500 ml (2 cups) cold water and 6 ice cubes. Mix on high speed for 45 to 60 seconds.
Pour into glasses over ice.
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