Ask the chef

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 September, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 September, 2003, 12:00am

It is not always possible to tell from the outside whether a mango is bruised. How can I pick the good ones?

Mangos are delicate, especially when ripe - they tend to bruise easily and sometimes develop black, rotten spots that must be removed. Also, mangos are ripe for a brief period and can become mushy or stringy quickly.

It is best to buy fruit that is slightly under-ripe. Let it stand at room temperature out of direct sunlight (which could cause it to ferment or develop mould). Turn the fruit over each day so it ripens evenly. When the mangos are ready, store them in the fridge and eat as soon as possible.

You can not always tell the ripeness of the fruit from the colour. Some mango varieties are yellow and orange and should be evenly coloured, with few brown spots. With other types, the skin is red and green, even when ripe. The best way to tell whether a mango is ripe is to smell it - it should be fragrant. Press on the flesh gently and it should 'give' just a little.