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Fishy Mangoes

by Qadgop the Mercotan
I do enjoy mangoes. A good mango is a delicious treat, and mango salsa with fish is a divine meal.

Having said that, 90% of the mangoes I eat have at least a very, very slight fishy flavor to them, for at least a taste or two. On occasion, one will taste positively piscine. Now, my search of the web has uncovered others that share this experience.

My question: how many of you out there note this phenomenon also?

Also, for the food chemists: Has the chemical responsible for this been identified?

  • Hmmmm. I'm a pretty big fan of mangoes and eat them fairly regularly, but I've never noted a fishy flavor.
    - YWalker, 2 years ago
  • I've noticed a fishy taste. It's very pronounced in frozen mangoes. I enjoy having a smoothie in the AM, and I use frozen fruit because I enjoy the slushie/milkshake quality. I won't use frozen mangoes, because of the fishy aroma/taste.

    Frozen peaches are typically too sour, but if you use a glug of caramel sauce in the smoothie, they are DIVINE.


    ~VOW
    - VOW, 2 years ago
  • Dried mangoes often taste conspicuously fishy as well. Data point.
    - Ogre, 2 years ago
  • I've never experienced that. Fresh, frozen, or dried. One of my favorite snacks is dried chili mangoes. Interesting. People who detect this, how's your take on cilantro? I wonder if it could be a related taste bud thing, like cilantro is lemony/peppery to me, not soapy.
    - SeaDragonTattoo, 2 years ago
  • I cannot say I've noticed a fishy flavor in mangos.
    - jnglmassiv, 2 years ago
  • I eat mangos often (being in southeast asia they are plentiful and cheap) and have never noticed this.
    - Patty O'Furniture, 2 years ago
  • I've never experienced that. Fresh, frozen, or dried. One of my favorite snacks is dried chili mangoes. Interesting. People who detect this, how's your take on cilantro? I wonder if it could be a related taste bud thing, like cilantro is lemony/peppery to me, not soapy.Herby wonderfulness.
    - Ogre, 2 years ago
  • Cilantro, BLEAH.


    ~VOW
    - VOW, 2 years ago
  • Like cilantro, like mangoes. Have not noticed fishy taste in mangoes.

    Fresh sliced mangoes (or papayas) drizzled with lime juice - yum. Maybe that counteracts fishieness? Trader Joes sells dried chili chocolate-covered mango slices. Fabulous.
    - chiroptera, 2 years ago
  • Darn you all, now I'm craving a fresh mango. The ones I can get in the local stores now won't do. I wonder what the closest location is that I can get a just-picked perfectly ripe mango?
    - MLS, 2 years ago
  • Darn you all, now I'm craving a fresh mango. The ones I can get in the local stores now won't do. I wonder what the closest location is that I can get a just-picked perfectly ripe mango?

    You may have to wait til November.

    Here's the problem with mangoes in the US - when they're imported, they're treated for plant pests by... dunking them in boiling water. So every imported mango has a bit of the cooked flavour which I associate with mango chutney, mango jam, etc. - nice, but not fresh mango.

    November, however, heralds the season of the Keitt mango. They're grown in Florida and even (heavens!) southern California. Which means I get LOCAL(ish) fresh mangoes for about a month. I may have gone completely overboard last season; I believe I bought, and consumed, over 50 mangoes that month. I didn't even process any for freezing, although frozen mango is, in its own way, wonderful.

    Also, just because they're fresh, local, even in season, doesn't mean that they're ripe when you buy them. Trust your nose, and only cut into them when you're sure. Keitts stay quite green when ripe, so don't wait for the colour to change.

    Re: fishyness, some varieties of mango have a turpentiney smell/flavour. There's even a cultivar called Turpentine. Maybe some similar phytochemicals give a fishy flavour? It's not something I've ever encountered.

    In northern Australia, the Bowen (AKA Kensington Pride) and R2E2 are common orchard varieties. For backyard trees, smaller varieties are preferred, like the Irwin, which also have very pretty red skin.

    I love mangoes! Bring on November!
    - araminty, 2 years ago
  • I haven't noticed a fishy flavor, but I don't eat fresh mango, because it tastes like mold to me. Cooked is fine. Raw tastes moldy.
    - Motorgirl, 2 years ago
  • Turpentine, eh? I haven't tasted that in a while. Have to get a bottle of terpin hydrate expectorant and take a whiff. See how it compares to my mango experience.

    I am reassured at least that there are others out there who taste the 'fishy' aspect of mangoes, and I'm grateful that it so minimally intrudes on my enjoyment of them.

    I will note for the record that I do taste a tiny bit of 'soapy' flavor in cilantro, but otherwise love the stuff.
    - Qadgop the Mercotan, 2 years ago
  • Try the slices in the jar (brand Del Monte) located in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store.

    Never noticed any turpentine-y taste. The fishy taste is more pronounced in the frozen slices.

    The big Mexican papaya flat out STINKS.


    ~VOW
    - VOW, 2 years ago
  • I will note for the record that I do taste a tiny bit of 'soapy' flavor in cilantro, but otherwise love the stuff.

    That's funny - cilantro doesn't taste the least bit "soapy" to me but sometimes fresh mangoes (perhaps the riper ones) have a sort of mild perfumey-soapy taste, which is why the lime juice is nice. It cuts the sweetness.

    araminty, thanks for the explainer!
    - chiroptera, 2 years ago
  • Mangoes never have tasted fishy to me but less ripe mangoes (when they are almost crunchy) taste very different than ripe ones and I like both. Ripe Mangoes taste like Mangoes but less ripe Mangoes taste almost like carrots to me. Sweet carrots.
    - Quimby, 2 years ago
  • Are they roly poly?

    StG
    - StGermain, 2 years ago
  • You may have to wait til November.

    Here's the problem with mangoes in the US - when they're imported, they're treated for plant pests by... dunking them in boiling water. So every imported mango has a bit of the cooked flavour which I associate with mango chutney, mango jam, etc. - nice, but not fresh mango.

    November, however, heralds the season of the Keitt mango. They're grown in Florida and even (heavens!) southern California. Which means I get LOCAL(ish) fresh mangoes for about a month. I may have gone completely overboard last season; I believe I bought, and consumed, over 50 mangoes that month. I didn't even process any for freezing, although frozen mango is, in its own way, wonderful.

    Also, just because they're fresh, local, even in season, doesn't mean that they're ripe when you buy them. Trust your nose, and only cut into them when you're sure. Keitts stay quite green when ripe, so don't wait for the colour to change.

    Re: fishyness, some varieties of mango have a turpentiney smell/flavour. There's even a cultivar called Turpentine. Maybe some similar phytochemicals give a fishy flavour? It's not something I've ever encountered.

    In northern Australia, the Bowen (AKA Kensington Pride) and R2E2 are common orchard varieties. For backyard trees, smaller varieties are preferred, like the Irwin, which also have very pretty red skin.

    I love mangoes! Bring on November!
    I'll have to look for those Keitts; thanks! I ate a mango once called a "champagne mango" that was delicious. I think they are from Mexico, so I guess they are probably steam-cleaned too.
    - MLS, 2 years ago
  • Mangoes don't taste fishy to me, but I don't like them. Some people I know can't eat them, because if any mango skin touches their lips, they break out into a poison ivy type rash. That hasn't happened to me yet, but I still feel wary of mangoes, as well as not being so fond of the taste. I prefer papaya. Though I've had some wonderful mango salsa. Oh, and I love cilantro, no soapy taste, just a wonderful herbal freshness that tastes like the breath of life to me.
    - Tapiotar, 2 years ago
  • I replied earlier but a few more tastes have come up:
    Cilantro: love it but recognize the soapiness;
    Mangos: no fishy flavor but sometimes note a piney turpentine-y taste.
    - jnglmassiv, 2 years ago
  • I do enjoy mangoes. A good mango is a delicious treat, and mango salsa with fish is a divine meal.

    Having said that, 90% of the mangoes I eat have at least a very, very slight fishy flavor to them, for at least a taste or two. On occasion, one will taste positively piscine. Now, my search of the web has uncovered others that share this experience.

    My question: how many of you out there note this phenomenon also?

    Also, for the food chemists: Has the chemical responsible for this been identified?

    I've returned dry fruit before, then not bought any for awhile and forgotten. I notice it in mangoes and papaya. Just bought some tonight, enjoyed the pineapple, bit into the mango and spit it out. Tried another piece to be sure. That's why I went online to see if others experience this. So glad to find you. I would love for the food chemists to explain this--how do we find them? There's a chef who just put out four hardbound books on food chemistry (and I saw a $40 single "condensed" hardcover at Costco) but all that is too much for me to buy. Hope we find out.
    - bzribee, a year ago
  • I have also noticed a pine-y taste in mangos before. Glad I wasn't the only one! Never noticed a fishy taste but mangos aren't in season around here long enough to get many good ones.
    - nikonikosuru, a year ago
  • Despite being a great lover of fruits and vegetables, Mangoes continue to be an exception, though to me they taste unpleasantly like meat, rather than fish.

    Many years ago Coca Cola relased a new flavour of Lilt ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilt ) which judging by Wikipedia must have been 'Mandarin & Mango' flavoured, and I remember being appalled at its meaty taste - like a carbonated pork Bovril. But no-one seemed to agree with me.
    - Staggerlee, a year ago
  • I understand that ethylene is used to control the ripening process in mangoes. This is because mangoes are almost always harvested well before they are ripe.

    I often detected a burnt kerosene smell when I used to eat mangoes while growing up in India (and I ate a lot of mangoes when in season!). And so I just looked up how to make ethylene and voila! by burning kerosene.

    Making ethylene (http://educationalelectronicsusa.com/c/org_chem-v.htm)

    Is that something close to what you smell? Maybe there are other ways to produce enthylene?
    - ashtayk, a year ago
  • I have also noticed a pine-y taste in mangos before. Glad I wasn't the only one! Never noticed a fishy taste but mangos aren't in season around here long enough to get many good ones.

    I invariably notice a pine-y taste in mangos, at least "normal" green mangos. Even when nice and ripe and delicious, I always get a hint of pine.

    Not sure about "fishy" but I certainly notice a few off flavors in mangos.

    I vastly prefer yellow / Champaigne / Manilla mangos when available; I never taste off notes in 'em. Underripe, they're merely overmild. Ripe...heaven.
    - typoink, a year ago

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