Welcome to the mango economy - opportunity ripens
WE HAVE a mango economy around Gympie region at the moment.
It is a time for making mango wine, blending a mango smoothie, shaking up a mango and coconut cocktail, whipping up some mango ice cream, cooking with mango, juicing up some mangoes and even just bagging up some mango flesh for the freezer.
The best of the "Bowens” and the proudest of the "Kensington prides” are falling off trees all over the place.
Those in the know will be aware of generous overhanging trees where the streets are literally paved with "honey gold,” so you can pick dessert up from the footpath (better than slipping on them if you are not too Kensington proud).
Even the fruit bats can afford to be fussy, according to Kandanga grower Carolyn Logan, of Logan's Lodge Mangoes.
But even as the professionals experience the marketing problems that come with a glut, it is boom time for enterprising young people like Gympie's Kayden Fleming.
Kayden is selling Bowens at $6 for 15, after picking them from trees at a friend's place at Goomboorian.
Yesterday he was doing a roaring trade from his family's home at 11 Ray Street.
It was just before 10am and his mother, Ashleigh Fleming said he was already being contacted to sell his sixth lot for the day.
"There are just tonnes of mangoes around,” Mrs Fleming said.
And quite a few of those were awaiting sale in the garage. The Flemings say their Filipino friends also love cooking with green mangoes.
"They eat them raw as well,” Mrs Fleming said.
At Kandanga Mrs Logan said the family orchard had experienced a "great season”.
And so has everyone else, apparently. "You need to wait until the mangoes ripen, hope the hail or fruit bats don't beat you and then find an outlet where you can sell them that day. The rain was really good and there hasn't been a hail storm to wipe us out.”
But selling them is another story.
"The Gympie market is really flooded,” she said.
Too many to eat, too good to waste, why not try these innovative ways to use up all those excess mangoes, as submitted by Jessica Ho?
BBQ'd Mango Cheeks -
serves 4, prep 5 mins, cook 10mins
. 2 x fresh Australian mangoes
. Vegetable oil
. Salt & pepper for seasoning
. 1 x long red chili, finely sliced
. 1 x cup coriander leaves
. Juice from 1 lime
. Brown sugar
. Meats to BBQ of your choice (optional)
Start by slicing the mango flesh into cubes with the skin on (like you would for a hedgehog) without turning the mango cheeks inside out
2. Heat and lightly oil the BBQ or hotplate, add mango cheeks making sure the mango is flesh side down
3. Cook the mango until it's caramelised.
4. For the dressing, combine chili, coriander, lime juice and stir in sugar to taste
5. To serve, turn the mango cheeks inside out and place on a large platter with your cooked meats, drizzle dressing and serve
Mango Pavlovas -
serves 4, prep 5-10mins
. 2 x fresh Australian mangoes
. 8 x pavlova nests
. 1 tbs sugar
. 1 tsp lemon juice
. Whipped cream
. Fresh mint
1. Mango slices - cut the cheeks from one mango and then use a glass to scoop the flesh from the skin. Slice into thin strips
2. Puree - slice and pit one mango and cut into pieces. Place mango, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor and puree until smooth. Cover and chill in fridge
3. To serve, place pavlova nests on a platter, top with whipped cream, puree and mango slices.
Scatter fresh mint leaves over the platter.