Mango Tango – Mangos are Multiplying in Florida
July 15, 2011
For Florida mango growers, this season has been quite a fruitful one, to say the least.
An incredibly cold December and dry season created perfect conditions for the nourishment of this delectable fruit, which is producing at a higher rate than previous years.
It’s prime mango-harvesting time right now. In fact, the International Mango Festival was held July 9th and 10th at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. The mango collection at Fairchild’s is known as the most diverse mango collection in the world. The event had everything from mango workshops and lectures, to mango tree sales and cook-offs! This festival celebrated an agricultural commodity that is a staple in Florida’s economy.
This commodity must be protected from harmful pests and diseases that could potentially destroy the fruit, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly. That’s where we come in.
DPI works to detect, intercept and control plant and honey bee pests that threaten Florida’s native and commercially grown plants and agricultural resources. You can help by being aware of possible pests and diseases. Visit our webpage for more information and recent pest notifications for our state. If you detect a pest or disease, report it immediately to 888-397-1517 or your county extension office.
Don’t judge a mango by its color! When choosing your mango, keep in mind these tips from the National Mango Board:
- Don’t focus on color. It is not the best indicator of ripeness.
- Squeeze the mango gently. A ripe mango will be slightly soft to the touch.
- A firmer mango would be a good choice if you don’t plan to eat it for several days.
- Use your experience with produce such as peaches or avocados, which also become soft to the touch when ripe.
- Ripe mangos will often have a fruity aroma at their stem ends.
Ripening & Storing Mangos
- Keep unripe mangos at room temperature. Never refrigerate mangos before they are ripe.
- Mangos will continue to ripen at room temperature, becoming sweeter and softer over several days.
- To speed up ripening, place mangos in a paper bag at room temperature.
- Once ripe, mangos should be moved to the refrigerator, which will slow down the ripening process. Whole, ripe mangos may be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator.
- Mango may be peeled, cubed and placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to six months.
In Florida, mangos are available May through September and are predominantly grown in Dade County. This fruit, native to India and Southeast Asia, is rich in vitamins A and C. Mangos fill you up, not out, with only 100 calories and 3 grams of fiber in one full cup.
- Feeling crabby? This recipe is sure to cheer you up – Mango Marinated Stone Crab Claws
- Tropical paradise – Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with Mango-Banana Chutney
- A ride on the wild side – Florida Spiny Lobster with Wild Shrimp Mango Ceviche
- Simple & delectable – Mango Mahi-Mahi
- Spice things up – Mango Enchilada
- A nice twist on a summer BBQ tradition – Mango BBQ Black Beans
Do you have a knack for growing things yourself? Check out this link for more information about mangos and how to grow them. Keep a lookout for dangerous pests and diseases that could harm your mango trees. If you notice damaged fruit or leaves, report it immediately.
You Can Help
Keeping pests out is critical to continued enjoyment and benefits of this and other tropical fruits. In fact, keeping pests out is critical to the sustenance of our environment.
- Don’t pack pests when you travel. Whether in planes, trains or automobiles, declare agricultural products when re-entering the states. If you see and/or hear of any invasive pests, report them.
- Don’t move firewood. Purchase local firewood at the location of the fire and be sure to burn it all. Taking firewood home could result in the transportation of invasive pests and diseases.
- Purchase only certified plants from registered nurseries.
Be aware of invasive pests and diseases and enjoy the multiplying mangos of Florida today!