Mangoes are the most esteemed of Philippine fruits — the carabao variety more than the piko.
In selecting mangoes, one should look for those with firm, fully rounded cheeks, without bruises or black spots.
What sometimes destroys the taste of mangoes is carburo or calcium carbide. Placed on top of the kaing baskets or between them in a closed room, carbide initiates the ripening of commercial mangoes. It is what gives mangoes their nice color.
Carburo had been recommended for use even by the Bureau of Plant Industry. The trouble comes in when immature mangoes are picked and forced to riped with carbide. The result is a golden yellow mango with rained-out taste.
To get foolproof mangoes, many people have resorted to buying baskets of full-grown mangoes which are then ripened the natural way in the house.
In the old days, people had more respect for nature’s cycle, and all the mangoes were ripened the long way. One found baskets of them under practically every bed in the house.