Did you know that more than a thousand varieties of mangoes exist? The Kent and Keith mangoes are the most popular with our customers, because they are ‘wireless’ mangoes. Wireless? You too must have thought of your phone charger, but they are mangoes of which the flesh does not leave wires between your teeth ;).
When you see a mango in the supermarket, most of us have no idea what journey the mango has made so far. What you see is that one has a sticker with 'ready to eat' on it and the other hasn’t. What is the difference? I’ll take you on three different journeys of the mango.
These hard mangoes are picked early. After they have been picked, they are cooled down to 10 degrees, so the ripening process stops. Then they are carefully checked for quality before they leave by boat with direction The Netherlands. This journey takes about 2.5 weeks depending on the origin of course. The temperature is also kept low during the journey by boat, so the mangoes cannot ripen any further. Once they have arrived in the Netherlands, they are further matured by increasing the temperature about 18 to 20 degrees or they are sent directly to our customers. Hence the name 'hard mangoes'. Of course they are not hard and they are also nice and sweet when they arrive at your restaurant or supermarket.
Mango 'Ready to eat'
Actually, the term says it all. You can eat the ready to eat mango immediately when you have bought it. What does the journey of this mango look like? On average, it takes three months from the blooming of flowers on the mango tree to picking the fruit. Certain values such as the colour of the mango pulp determine whether the mango is ready for harvest. The mangoes are picked by hand, after which they are checked for quality and sorted and packed according to size. The mangoes are then cooled back to 10°C, which stops the ripening process. Once arrived in the Netherlands, the mangoes are further ripened until they are ready to eat.
The ripening program
The ripening process is a complex interplay of factors that already starts at the cultivation companies. The growers are looking for varieties suitable for ripening. The time of harvest is also important. Therefore, mangoes are harvested later than usual, so that the fruit gets more natural nutrients. This benefits the ripening process and the taste.
After the trip by boat, the ripeness of the mango is checked upon arrival in the Netherlands. This first check is the basis for a specific ripening program: each load requires its own temperature and humidity, exactly according to the climate in the country of origin. The ripening masters take a sample every day to assess how far along the ripening process is. Where necessary, the temperature is adjusted, among other things. The temperature is higher during the first days in the ripening process, and will then be gradually reduced. That extends the shelf life. The maturing is real craftsmanship where experience and feeling are very important.
Mangoes by air
The journey of mangoes arriving this way by plane is a lot shorter than the two journeys mentioned above. This automatically means that these mangoes also stay on the tree longer and therefore enjoy the natural growing process for a longer period. That is why the Kent and Keith mangoes by air often have a higher brix value than the hard mango or a ready-to-eat. These mangoes are more expensive because of the longer natural growing process and the expensive airfreight. The by air boxes are sold per 6 kg, while the other varieties are available in 4 to 4.5 kg.
Did you know:
- The Kent and Keith mangoes have less colour and are therefore often green? People think they are not ripe yet because they look less attractive, but appearances can be deceiving. Because in addition to the fact that these green mangoes are ‘wireless’, they are also deliciously sweet!
- Palmer and Tommy Atkins mangoes are red and sweet, but the flesh does have more fibers, which makes them less popular and therefore cheaper.
- The Kent mangoes are the most flown mangoes.
- The most expensive mango is sold in Japan for no less than 60 euros! It is a 'Taiyo no Tamago', also called 'egg of the sun mango'.