If you live in Florida or Hawaii, this series of posts isn’t for you. (As an aside, Hawaiians and Floridians are special, chosen citizens in the U.S. mango universe. They get access to mango varieties the rest of us don’t. Gloat they must…and I can’t even hold it against them. Their access to the niftiest of mangoes is in fact gloat-worthy.)
This series of posts *is* for *everyone else* who doesn’t live in a tropical paradise climate. We mere non-tropical mortals have a short-list of mangoes to choose from in our grocery stores. Here is one:
Introducing the “ataulfo” mango. The ataulfo mango is a slender yellow creature that easily earns a “most favored” rating, since I have an absolute preference for mangoes with buttery, smooth flesh and robust flavor! Essentially, the ataulfo mango is a super yummy, compact variety in a kidney-shaped form. The skin turns from green to a deep golden yellow when fully ripe. The inside is velvety smooth and unlike other varieties, has a much thinner pit. The taste is intensely sweet and robust. Yes, I needed to say “robust” one more time!
Buy and eat exactly when?
I prefer to buy all my mangoes in a range from not-so-ripe to ripe, so that I can cherry pick which one I want each day as they become ripe. For the ataulfos, the peak of ripeness is when the skin turns deep yellow gets little wrinkles. You might have to stand over the sink to eat them, as they are sooooo juicy at their peak!
Store ataulfos at room temperature until the “very sweet” stage shown on the far right of the image, then refrigerate until consumption.
Bottom Line about ataulfos:
Flavor: Sweet and oh so creamy
Texture: Smooth, firm flesh with no fibers (no fibers is an A+ in my book)
Colors: From green (bitter) to vibrant yellow (very sweet) when ripe
Shape: Small, flattened oval shape
Ripening Cues: Skin turns to a deep golden color and small wrinkles appear when fully ripe. Squeeze gently to judge ripeness.
And for a contrast between the Ataulfo and the next variety in the series, Haden, have a look: