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Eight (8) Varieties of Nigerian Mangoes

by on April 28, 2015
 

Yes, mango fever is here, stalls decorated with baskets of green and orange, red-blushed, and almost tan fruit in varieties from Cotonou to Ogbomosho.

Mangoes

For a long time, I paid no heed to the varieties of mangoes in fruit stalls and on the streets for I’ve only ever liked one variety of mangoes – ‘Normal mango’ according to the sellers on the streets. Also known as Ogbomosho, Calabar / Kwaba, Enugu and Abuja mangoes. I’m sorry if I can’t get the proper name for you…bear with me. It is a journey.

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I’ve come across eight or so varieties of mangoes this season and those past.

Apparently, we have over ten (10) cultivars of le mangue in Nigeria.

First step, identify cultivars

Second step, carry out a taste test

Third step, identify which variety is best for eating, cooking, juicing et al

So fascinating and easy to see why people have favourites – both in taste and manner of eating. I shall not prescribe 🙂

Some favour firm, sweet and ripe.

Some like it at room temperature, some like it cold. Refrigerated.

Some like it cut up. Some like to eat it by hand.

Some like it in salads. Others in drinks. Even more in everything from custard to cake.

Which ever you like, here’s a quick guide to the varieties I’ve come across:

Cotonou Mango

Skin Colour: Green, with a little red blush

Flesh Colour: Pale lemon Yellow

Shape & Size: Large,  ellipse-shaped

Flavor: Fresh and sour. Tastes like pineapple when ripe 😐

Texture: firm, not fibrous

Ripening Cues: Softens with pressure, no visible colour change

Peak Availability: March – April

Available in other countries: ??? Similar to the Bombay

Great for: Asian-style, unripe mango salads

Mangoes

German Mango/ Opioro

Skin Colour: Green

Flesh Colour: Yellow

Shape & Size: Long & large

Flavor: Fresh and sour

Texture: firm, not fibrous

Ripening Cues: Softens with pressure, no visible colour change

Peak Availability: February/ March

Available in other countries: ???

Great for: Asian-style, unripe mango salads

Mangoes

Benue Mangoes

Skin Colour: Green, with a little yellow; Red with yellow – a few varieties characterised by their size

Flesh Colour: Pale yellow – light orange

Shape & Size: Large – some are as big as melons

Flavor: Fresh and sour

Texture: Firm, not fibrous

Ripening Cues: Softens with pressure, skin colour lightens with a touch of yellow

Peak Availability: April?

Available in other countries: Similar to the Guinea Mango???

Great for: Asian-style, unripe mango salads

A #gift of #Benue #mangoes. From @zswstudio. Merci, dear. They'll be ready by Saturday.DSC_0106

Normal (Ogbomosho/ Enugu (Eastern)/ Calabar/ Abuja/ Yellow) Mangoes

Skin Colour: Bright yellow skin with orange and red blush

Flesh Colour: Yellow

Shape: Oblong

Flavor: Sweet with a hint of spice

Texture: Varies from firm to soft and juicy; fibrous flesh

Ripening Cues: Green overtones diminish and the yellow becomes more golden as the Francis ripens. Squeeze gently to judge ripeness.

Peak Availability: February to – 

Available in other countries: ???

Great for: Sweet and savoury preparations and puree, but you have to pass through a sieve to get rid of the fibres

Mangoes

Sheri Mango

Other names: Cherie, Sherry, Cherry. Believed to be the same as the most beloved Alphonso mango of India, of which love letters and gifts to kings have been made.

Skin Colour: Green

Flesh Colour: dark yellow – orange;

Shape: ellipse-shaped

Flavor: Sweet, rich and spicy, with aftertaste of ‘turpentine/kerosene’

Texture: Firm flesh, holds shape when cut

Ripening Cues: Green overtones diminish and yellow becomes dominant

Peak Availability: February to – 

Available in other countries: ???

Great for: Sweet and savoury preparations and puree, but you have to pass through a sieve to get rid of the fibres

Mangoes

Julie Mango

Skin Colour: Green

Flesh Colour: dark yellow – orange

Shape: Ovate and flat

Flavor: Rich

Texture: Juicy flesh

Ripening Cues: Touch of yellow at the base

Peak Availability: February to

Available in other countries: ???

Best for: ???

Mango cream

Peter / Jane/ Binta Sugar (?) Mangoes

Skin Colour: Green

Flesh Colour: Orange

Shape & Size: Large

Flavor: Sour unripe? Sweet, like sugar some say when ripe?

Texture: Firm

Ripening Cues: Yellow/ Red blush

Peak Availability: March – April?

Available in other countries: ??? 

Great for: Asian-style, unripe mango salads

It took me 3 seasons of eating mangoes to realise that we have an astounding variety of #mangoes in #Nigeria. This season, I've had 4 or 5 varieties. In this photo, there are 3 sorts. Top - Peter mangoes. Green-skinned, somewhat sour and orange on the

Photo above, from top to bottom: Peter, Enugu, German Mango/ Opioro

Photo below, green ones are Peter mangoes. Not sure what the red ones are

#Mangoes. #Red and #Green. #Tropicalfruit #instafood #inseason

Kerosene Mango?

Skin Colour: Pale peach

Flesh Colour: Yellow – Orange

Shape: ellipse-shaped

Flavor: Aftertaste of turpentine/ kerosene

Texture: Varies from firm to soft and juicy; fibrous flesh

Ripening Cues: Green overtones diminish and peachy-tan colour prevails

Peak Availability: February to ?

Available in other countries: ???
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So, ladies and gentlemen, here are eight (8) varieties of Mangoes I’ve encountered so far.

If you know of any others and have photos, please share. If you have updates on the names and flavours and anything else, let me know. Merci…