You may or may not know that ataulfo mangoes are one of my very favorite fruits, right up there with the locally-grown peaches I pick each summer.
And you may or may not know that these little delicacies are in season right now!
Unfortunately, like most fruits, most people have no idea how to enjoy this scrumptious speciality the proper way (i.e. when ripe and full of flavor).
Since you may be in the same boat, I’d like to take a little time out to show you exactly how to get the most out of this amazing mango.
A Mango By Many Names
Ataulfo, Honey, Manila, Yellow, Baby, and Champagne (the brand sold by Ciruli Brothers) all refer to the same mango cultivar. It’s a small variety that is in season from as early as mid-March to early August.
The fruit has green skin and light yellow flesh when unripe. When ripe, the skin is completely golden yellow in color and the flesh becomes golden yellow/orange (see photo above).
What really sets these mangoes apart is the taste and texture. They are both sweeter and muskier than the common green/red varieties (e.g. Kent and Tommy Atkins) and have a smoother, creamier texture.
There really is nothing like this magnificent fruit!
Where to Find Them
You won’t typically see Ataulfo mangoes in a regular grocery store. Instead, try buy in bulk stores like Costco (they sell them in packages of six mangoes, six packages to a flat), Whole Foods (ask for a case so you can get a 10% discount), or local Hispanic markets.
If you still can’t find any, ask the store managers and see if they can order the fruit for you or direct you to their wholesale produce supplier.
Look for fruit that is unripe, i.e. green or mostly green. I’ve found that when I purchase Ataulfo mangoes ripe or close to it, they are usually rotting inside near the seed and taste off.
When Are They Ripe
As I already mentioned, a ripe Ataulfo mango has golden yellow/orange skin and flesh. The fruit should give when you press on it. If the fruit is light yellow and/or doesn’t give to pressure, it isn’t ripe yet. Just let it sit in a warm environment for a couple of days and check it again.
In a warm environment (e.g. outdoors in the sunshine), it takes about 5 days for a green Ataulfo mango to fully ripen. Sometimes the skin will wrinkle slightly as the fruit ripens. This is perfectly fine.
Personally, I’ve found that if I place the fruit outdoors or in a really warm room, it doesn’t tend to wrinkle as much or at all. Plus, it ripens a little bit sooner.
If you’re unsure if your fruit is ripe yet, try this knife test. Take a sharp parring knife and slowly cut away a tiny bit of skin, being careful not to remove it completely.
If the knife slides in almost effortless with very little resistance and the flesh is deep yellow underneath and smells sweet, the mango is ripe. If you have to see-saw the knife back and forth to peel the skin, the fruit isn’t ripe yet.
In that case, simply replace the little bit of peel and let the fruit ripen for a couple more days.
How to Prepare Them
Using the same method explained in the knife test, take a paring knife and slowly peel away all of the skin, being careful to stay as close to the skin as possible so as not to waste any of the delicious fruit inside.
Once the skin has been removed, dig in! Just bite the fruit right off the seed. It’s really satisfying.
If you need the fruit for a particular recipe, just slice the large pieces (called the “cheeks”) away from the pit and chop, dice, blend, etc.
CAUTION: When using the above method, it’s imperative that you go slowly and keep your hand out of the way of the knife. The hand holding the mango should be under the fruit and you should slice towards you from the top of the fruit, rotating as you go but always keeping your hand away from the blade.
If you’re at all uncomfortable with this method, you can simply slice the fruit away from the seed and then scoop the flesh out of the skin.
How to Enjoy Them
Personally, I think the best way to enjoy the ataulfo mango is to eat it on it’s own. I love to peel a whole bunch of them, slice off the meaty bits, eat with a fork and scrap the rest off of the seed with my teeth.
Oh, it’s recipes you’re looking for? No prob. Here’s an uber tasty one that just creams Spring!
Mango Strawberry Salad
- 5 Ataulfo mangoes, peeled
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled
- Handful of mint
Chop the mango flesh and mint, slice the strawberries, and mix everything together in a big bowl.
What’s your take on the Ataulfo mango? Do you love ‘em like I do? Do you hate them (gasp, blasphemy!)? Have you never tried one?
Leave your comments below! In the meantime, it’s breakfast time here and I’ve got mango on the menu!
Go raw and be fit,
P.S. Want some more tasty and satisfying raw recipes starring this mouthwatering mango? Check out my raw recipe e-book:
“Low Fat, Fruit Filled, High Fun Raw Recipes”
Delicious and Healthy Raw Vegan Favorites for Every Meal
Specifically, check out Better Than Candy Confection on page 10, Red Currant Pasta on page 26, Summer Raspberry on page 27, and Sweet Marinara on page 28.
And don’t fret if you can’t find the Ataulfo mango variety. Any ole’ mango (as long as it’s ripe) will work beautifully in these recipes.