Spring is mango season. They are ripe, they are cheap, they are abundant. One of my (many) spring mantras: “Mango mango mango mango MANGO!”
This is the perfect time of year to feature my all-time favourite mango variety: Ataulfo mango. Otherwise known as Philippine mango, or more commonly as “those little orange mangoes”.
Ataulfo mangoes are smaller, more orange and more mango-shaped than the round, red-blushed Haden mangoes we are used to eating:
Ataulfo vs Haden
Ataulfo mangoes are SO good. Actually superb. Worth every penny of their slightly higher expense. They have a mouth-watering perfume and a delicious sweet-tart flavour. Their pits are very thin, which means you get more mango-bang for your buck. (Who is more expensive now, Haden?!) But almost the best thing about Ataulfo mangoes is their smooth, smooth, buttery flesh. Not a string or a mango-hair in sight.
The stringlessness of the Ataulfo mango is very good news for people who have run out of floss. Also great news for those who want to make a mango smoothie that is actually smooth. Basically, this mango is for anyone who wants to really enjoy their mango-eating experience.
Ataulfo mangoes are ripe when they are a rich orange colour and give to light pressure. But you can buy them under-ripe as well (see below). The best place to buy them is, of course, Chinatown. Cheaper, bigger, fresher, riper – it is mango heaven down there. However, supermarket Ataulfo mangoes will do. In Victoria BC, buy them at Thrifty Foods, Fairway, Market on Yates/Millstream.
Store just-ripe or under-ripe mangoes at room temperature, either in your fruit basket, or in a bowl on the counter. They ripen beautifully on their own. (In fact, mangoes are one of only a handful of fruits that ripen better after being picked). Store well-ripened mangoes in the fridge, or use them up right now. Over-ripe mangoes are truly disgusting – put them in the compost.
Here is a quick mango lassi recipe (i.e. Indian milk smoothie). Coming up tomorrow: illustrated how-to-cut-a-mango post. I promise.
- 1 cup diced peeled Ataulfo mango (this is about how much mango you get from one large mango – use whatever amount you have, whether it is 1 1/4 cup or 3/4 cup, or something in between)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (depending on how thick you like it)
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 teaspoon light brown or white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in the top part of a blender. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Pour into two chilled glasses. Serve immediately.