The mango is a fruit, shaped like an egg and most of them are about four inches long. When I bought them on Monday the skins were smooth and green with just a hint of red. There is no “give” to the skin when the green mangoes are squeezed. Cutting the green mangoes needed a sharp knife because the flesh of the mango clings to the seed. The seed is large, oval shaped and is about one third of the mango. The flesh of the green mango is pale green and very firm to the touch. Grating the flesh of the green mangoes produces a tart tasting juice which I discard because I only need the grated flesh. The texture of the grated flesh is a bit fibrous.
Mixing the grated flesh with salt and pepper is one way to make the flesh of the green mango edible. The salt easily dissolves into the mixture and the pepper adds colour to make achar which changes the taste from tart to tangy and spicy.
Over a period of time the green mangoes go through three stages, 'turn', 'ripe' and 'overripe'. 'Turn' mangoes are mangoes that are almost ripe and the still firm flesh is sweet and easy to eat. The ripe mangoes are fairly firm to the touch with a bit of “give” in the skin and flesh is crisp and juicy. After 48 hours in a paper bag the remaining mangoes were at the “turn” stage. The colour had changed to a glorious orange-yellow, with more than a hint of red.
Overripe mangoes usually “give” very easily to the touch, ooze juice and are very messy to eat. Eating an overripe mango, you may end up covered with juice oozing down your chin, arms and onto your clothes.