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I love Mangoes, but....

I just eagerly cut into a ripe mango at my desk. I love mangoes. When they are right, they are sublime. But occasionally they have a weird flavour. Like the one I just cut into. Not appetizing at all. It's not a "bad" flavour, as in it might be off, it just doesn't taste the way a mango should taste. These ones are from Brazil. Does anyone have any tips on picking good mangoes - i.e. does it matter where they come from - Mexico, Brazil, etc? I do know that I've had organic ones in past that had fantastic flavour, although I don't know if it was just coincidence.
Just wondering. Maybe it's just luck and depending on the season like a lot of fruit.

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  1. Sometimes you just have bad luck with mangoes but generally I tell by the way it feels. It should have a little bit of give when you press into the fleshy sides, a bit more than an avocado, less than a peach. It can be softer if you like them very ripe and a little squishy, but be careful of soft spots which may be bruises or areas where the fruit is beginning to rot.

    In the Boston area we're seeing mangoes just about year round from different places. We buy them by the case because they're my husband's favorite fruit. I'm about to tuck into a little container of ripe Keitts now.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      Thanks, yeah, it's got the right consistency. I think it's just bad luck sometimes. But it won't stop me from trying because when you get a good one, it's like hitting the jackpot :) I'd say it's my favourite fruit too (and we also get them year round here in Toronto). I just wasn't sure if it depends where they come from. I have an Indian friend who swears that the mangoes we have here are nothing (and inferior) to the ones he ate in India.

      1. re: pescatarian

        Ours come from all over latin America, depending on variety and season. It's rare that we've had a bad one. I've also heard that Indian mangoes are far superior to anything we get here. I believe it, I grew up in South Africa where we had dozens of varieties, some similar to what I get here, but some a whole lot better.

        Look for champagne mangoes. Ours come from Mexico. I passed over these when I first saw them because they're so plain. They're solidly yellow, shaped a bit like a giant bean, flattish and curved. They're smaller than the green/red varieties, and seem to have a shorter season. The taste and smell are amazing.

        1. re: cheryl_h

          Champagne mangos are wonderful..........and they're even wonderful with champagne ;-)

          These are smaller than a lot of other varieties, but what a flavor and aroma punch they pack. Very intense and the texture is almost buttery. One of my favorite varieites.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            I just had these (altaulfo) for the first time this week. They were on sale 2/$1 at the grocery store last week. I almost didn't get them because all I saw were the "regular" mangoes...the bigger ones and they were really green. I am so glad I did find them because they have been so much more delicious than the others.

    2. Saveur did an incredible write up on mangoes in their summer edition. Very descriptive on different types and even some incredible recipes.

      1. It can depend on the type. My MIL gets the best mangoes from chinese stores. They're yellow, smaller and almost custardy like w/out all that fiber the bigger ones have. Here are the varieties:


        The ones I was talking about are the Ataulfo.

        1. Thanks, I'll have to check that out at T&T (a local asian supermarket)

          1. Just wait for the Indian varieties that will hopefully be available next summer. I do hope that enough Indian varieties will get exported here instead of just the overrated Haapus (Alphonso). There. I said it. :>

            1 Reply
            1. re: sweetTooth

              ACK! Blasphemy! Alphonso mangoes are from heaven!!! I was just wondering when we'd see them in our part of the world. But I have also had the chance to gorge on Kesars, and they are also fabulous. I would be very happy to try other Indian varieties.

              I am also fond of Atulfos.

            2. In my experience, the best way to pick mangoes is to smell the fruit near the stem. Generally speaking, if it smells like a delicious mango, it will be.

              Also, oddly, I have had really good luck buying cases of mangoes at Costco. I don't know why, but I often get better, sweeter mangoes at Costco than at higher-end grocers. (The only drawback is that one has to buy a case, which is a lot of mangoes.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: David Kahn

                I'v had very good luck with Costco mangos too, but isn't a case only 6 or 8 mangoes? I can ususally get through a case without loosing them.

                If there are too many, think about peeling, pitting, cubing and freezing them. They do freeze relatively well and the frozen cubes work great in smoothies, protein or other energy drinks.

                1. re: David Kahn

                  Grew up with 2 mango trees in the yard, and we'd usually just pick them once they drop. (The trees were pretty tall, and one would need a ladder otherwise.)

                2. I love mangoes too, and I certainly like fresh whole mango. However, if I'm not going to be eating it in pieces I am more likely to use the canned mango pulp from India. That stuff is fantastic. I don't really know why it is so much better than canned whole mangoes ever are. Maybe because you can use really ripe once because you're not worried about the texture degrading in canning? Whereas canned slices would have to a little underripe to stand the heat of canning? I don't know. But, the Indian mango pulp is really good and you can often find it sold by type of mango too.

                  1. Having grown up in Ft. Lauderdale, we had several mango trees in the yard and many more in the neighborhood. They ranged from kind of small ones that we called turpentine mangos to big (about 6 or 8 inches long) Haydens and several in between. The little ones were very stringy and did in fact taste like turpentine. The Haydens were absolutely lucious. We waited for them every year.
                    The ones we get on the market here in St. Pete are mostly like the ones in between. Sometimes very tasty. Other times, not so good. They taste like turpentine. That is probably the taste you encountered. How do you tell the difference? Got me. It's like picking a peach or a melon. Sometimes great. Other times - cardboard. I have never seen a Hayden on the market here - at least not one that looks like the ones we used to pick when I was a boy. But if you see one called Hayden, go for it.