As the north Queensland weather changes from warm and dry to warm and wet, there’s one sure-fire, chin-dribbling, sweet and delicious indicator that the wet season will soon be upon us. Which means just one thing. It’s Mango season!
When is mango season in Cairns and Port Douglas?
Mango season in north Queensland usually starts some time in October and may not finish until April or May, depending on the mango variety. Local markets around Cairns and Port Douglas as well as the Atherton Tablelands are a great place to pick up locally grown mangoes.
Take a look around now at the mango trees that line the streets of Cairns, Port Douglas, the Atherton Tablelands and everywhere in between and you’ll notice mango’s in various stages of growth. By late September, early October trees are already starting to drop their ripe luscious fruit, creating a carpet of mangos strewn around their trunks.
Where the Great Barrier Reef Drive cuts through the small beachside community at Ellis Beach, ancient mango trees create a luscious canopy over the highway, dropping mangos onto unsuspecting vehicles that pass through. It’s no wonder there’s an element of mango madness at this time of year as the first fruit ripens!
Eleven Fun Facts about mangoes
1. There are more than 400 mango varieties worldwide
2. Ripen a green mango by placing it in a brown paper bag at room temperature
3. Mangoes contain pectin which can help to lower high cholesterol
4. Mangoes are not related to Mangosteens, despite having similar names
5. Golden Drop Winery (on the Atherton Tablelands) was the world’s first commercial mango winery
6. The Guinness World Record for heaviest mango was grown in the Philippines and weighed in at 3.43kg
7. Mangoes are the national fruit of the Philippines and Pakistan
8. The town of Mareeba on the Atherton Tablelands is north Queensland’s Mango Headquarters
9. Australian mango varieties include Kensington Pride (also known as Bowen), Calypso, R2E2, Honey Gold, Parvin and Keitt
10. How to tell if a mango is ripe? It’s not always about colour! Squeeze it very gently – a ripe mango will ‘give’ slightly and have a fruity aroma at the stem end
11. Mangoes are high in energy, low in calcium and are a great source of calcium and iron
Recipes using Mangoes
One of the most versatile fruits that can be eaten as a snack, dessert or used in salads or for main meals. Eat mangoes raw, juiced, frozen, cooked, diced or pickled – the choices are endless.