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Mad for Mango!

Mangoes are a sweet and juicy tropical fruit grown in many parts of the world. While you may not see many of them grown here in the States, we can still get a taste of them thanks to countries like Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, and Ecuador, which harvest mango crops year round.

When buying mangoes, look for undamaged, smooth-skinned fruits. Color is not the best indicator for ripeness, as color varies with different varieties. Instead, choose mangoes that feel soft to touch and have a fruity or floral scent. If not fully ripened, store mangoes on the counter or place them in a paper bag with an apple to speed up the process. Ripe mangoes should be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

To cut a mango, set the fruit on its base with the stem facing away from you. The stem is a continuation of the mango's long flat seed that has about the same color as its flesh, making it difficult to see. Using a knife, cut just off center about ¼" on each side of the mango stem. You will be left with two oval "cheeks." Cut parallel slices into the mango cheeks, being sure not to puncture the skin. Then, turn the mango a ¼ turn, and cut another set of parallel slices to make a checkerboard pattern. Using a spoon, scrape out the flesh from the skin.

Use mango to make salsa, smoothies, and fruit salads. Mango is delicious grilled and pairs well with fish, pork, or poultry. Plus, mangoes will provide fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. There's no reason not to love this tasty fruit!


Barbecue Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa

1 lb. raw boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded

⅔ cup barbeque sauce

½ cup mango, chopped

½ cup red onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ Tablespoon rice vinegar

½ Tablespoon lime juice

8 six-inch white corn tortillas

Place warm, cooked, shredded chicken in a medium mixing bowl. Add barbecue sauce and toss to coat. In a separate bowl, combine mango, red onion, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice; mix well and set aside. Lay tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and heat, about 15 seconds. Evenly distribute barbecue chicken among tortillas; top with mango salsa mixture and serve.

Yield: 8 tacos


Nutritional analysis per serving: 210 calories, 6 grams fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium, 26 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 13 grams protein