The color of a mango is no guide to ripeness as the skins vary from one variety to another. A green mango can be as ripe as one that is bright red. You test for ripeness by touch: they should yield when gently pressed. Mangoes that are to travel a long way are picked unripe and can be encouraged to ripen by leaving them out in a warm room or by putting them in a bowl with other fruit: fully ripe bananas are especially effective.
Mangoes can vary considerably in flavor, sweetness, aroma and texture. There are hundreds of varieties, and they are not always labeled, but if they are, one of the most popular mangoes is Kensington Pride, also known as Bowen Special. Others to look for are Kent, Keitt, Palmer R2E2, Nam Dok Mai and Sensation, all of which are rich and melting. The Tommy Atkins variety, which is tougher and more fibrous, is best used for chutney.
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