|mango with sweet chilli and lime dipping salt|
You can also supposedly sniff the stem end and if they smell strongly of fruit that also suggests ripeness. But they always smell ripe to me.
As for firmness, I suspect that many of them have been so manhandled before I show up as to make the test inconclusive. So that is why I often buy unripe mangoes and papaya.
You can ripen the fruit by leaving at room temperature in a brown paper bag - which speeds up the ripening process. Inevitably my enthusiasm for these fruit means that I lay in to them with a sharp knife and am disappointed by their lack of ripeness.
However, I have found a solution - a sweet and sour citrus salt with added chilli. Cut the fruit into wedges. Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and then dip in the flavoured salt. It is magic! Or dice up the fruit in even cubes and sprinkle over the flavoured salt, toss with lime juice, add a few chopped spring onions and set aside - a fabulous salsa to serve with fish.
Skill level: Easy
2 mangoes or 1 papaya, de-seeded and cut into chunks (leave the skin on)
2-3 limes, to serve
2 dried red chillies
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp sea or rock salt
zest of 1 lime, very finely chopped (or 1-2 tsp dried lime powder)
- Crumble the chillies into a spice grinder or blender, with the sugar and salt. Blitz until roughly ground.
- Stir in the lime zest.
- First squeeze lime juice over the fruit. Then dip the fruit into the flavoured salt. Heaven.