Have you noticed that the mangos from your local supermarket don't taste quite the same as the ones you bought during your last visit to the tropics?
Many people think it's a simple case of "freshness." And it's certainly true that a mango harvested at peak ripeness and consumed immediately has a spectacular flavor. A mango that was harvested prematurely to survive refrigeration and international shipping just doesn't compare.
You may not know that a big reason for this difference in flavor has to do with the “hot water treatment.” The USDA requires that mangos from most of Mexico and all of Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil undergo a 10-minute bath at 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
This treatment is intended to prevent Mediterranean Fruit Fly outbreaks in the U.S. In my opinion, however, the treatment negatively impacts quality.
Want to know if your mangos are fresh or “cooked”? You can check the label on the wholesale box to see if it has undergone this treatment.
Despite the hot water treatment, I still sometimes buy mangos in the United States. However, I usually prefer to buy frozen cubed mango for personal consumption since it can be harvested ripe and doesn't require the bath.
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