Overripe Mango Wrestling

Giant mangos are $11 for a box of six at the Airline Farmer's Marketing Association. But you can pick up a box of overripe mangos for a mere five bucks. I took two boxes of the nasty-looking fruit home last weekend and showed my assistants how to cut them up. The 12 mangos yielded almost five quarts of very soft flesh, which my assistants and I combined with habanero chiles, raisins, ginger, garlic and cider vinegar in a huge batch of old-fashioned English-style mango chutney. (Indian mango chutney is more often made with green fruit and a few other ingredients.)

Using a propane tank and my crawfish boiling pot, we set up a home canning operation in the backyard and turned out a dozen 12-ounce jars of chutney, which will be given away as Christmas gifts if they last that long. I like mango chutney with Indian curry or chicken tikka masala pizza, but it tastes damn good on a grilled pork chop too.

Here's a recipe for chutney using 10 cups of mango:

Mango-Habanero Chutney

Two habaneros makes a spicy chutney, you can tone it down if you like. (Or add more if you're chile-crazed.)

3 cups cider vinegar 3 cups dark brown sugar 10 cups diced mangos 3 small lemons cut in thin slices 1 cup chopped fresh ginger 2 habañero peppers, seeded and minced (or to taste) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 cups raisins 2 cups chopped sweet red pepper 1 cup chopped onion Freshly ground black pepper

Bring the vinegar and brown sugar to a boil. Add the fruit and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and allow the fruit to plump and absorb the flavors for half an hour or more. Return to a simmer and cook until thick, about 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Let cool, and store in airtight containers or preserve in home canning jars according to instructions.

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