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Mar 28, 2010 06:03 PM

In search of good fresh mango

Does anyone have a good place to get a box of fresh mangos? Preferably Kent or Ataulfo variety? I got a box of Ataulfo at 99 Ranch and they were ok at best. Not enough mango flavor for me. The other mangos at 99 Ranch looked like the Tommy Atkins brand and were either on the verge of rotting or were rock hard and not fragrant.

The Mexican lady who sells cut mango, jicama and cucumber at the La Jolla Farmer's Market had really, really flavorful mango and all she would tell me is that she got them "at a warehouse in Chula Vista." I came very close to offering to buy a box off her.


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  1. This doesnt really answer your question, but between late april and mid june, check out one of the Indian grocery stores for mango. Thats the Indian mango season, and since 2007, a new treaty allows export of Indian mangoes to the US. In my biased opinion, those are the best. I like the alfonso (referred to as the King of fruits in India), kesar, langdo or rajapuri varieties.

    The only problem has been that the law requires the fruit to be irradiated before being shipped. This doesnt affect the taste, but (a) who knows what latent risks that could pose (b) it makes it harder to tell the difference between unripe, ripe and overripe fruit. Im still figuring this part out the hard way. Nonetheless, the good ones are way better than anything else thats local.

    There is a fruit/vegetable stand next to Trader Joes in La Jolla Village Square - near the back entrance to the movie theater. Ive bought some good Kent mango from there. His strawberries are also really good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsit

      Thanks for the tip on the alfonsos, ipsit. I think the Indian mango I had last time was the kesar, which was incredibly fragrant and sweet. I will start dropping in on the markets around Black Mountain in the next few weeks.

    2. I got some really great, huge red mangoes at California Produce on Plaza last year. They had yellow ones, too, for a very short time, and they were also nice.

      1. Both Gonzales Northgate and Windmill Farms in Del Cerro have Atulfo mangos. I picked up some at Northgate last weekend that were really good. I think they were something like 2 for $1.00, very inexpensive. The Altulfos at Windmill Farms were pretty good too but not quite as ripe as the ones I got at Northgate.

        And if Windmill Farms has them, it probably means that Pancho Villa on El Cajon has them too since the Boney family has the produce concession for PV.

        5 Replies
        1. re: DiningDiva

          Does the Boney family still own Henry's or did they completely lose interest when the names changed from Boney's to Henry's?

          1. re: DougOLis

            The Boney family sold Henry's some time ago to Wild Oats, then Wild Oats was bought by Whole Foods, who then turned around and sold Henry's to the investment group that owns Smart & Final.

            1. re: nileg

              And now that the "non-compete" clause has expired from the deals that put Henrys in the hands of Wild Oats, the Boney family has started making a local come-back with their Sprouts chain. So, we've got Windmill Farms owned by somebody, the Henry's chain owned by Smart and Final, the Boney's in Oceanside and Coronado owned by somebody (which I assume are leftovers from the original Boney's chain), and now Sprouts in places like San Marcos and El Cajon owned by the original Boney family.

              1. re: cookieshoes

                A Sprouts will soon be opening in the Carmel Mountain Plaza at the former Circuit City site. 5 years late for me, but what can you do? :)

            2. re: DougOLis

              The Boney family owned Henry's. When they sold Henry's to Wild Oats they retained the rights to 2 other market names that they had at the time of the sale - Windmill Farms and Sprouts. There were apparently 2 or 3 Windmill Farms in the North County, none of them too well thought of and not performing very well.

              There was a non-compete clause in the Wild Oats sale and at the end of the non-compete period several of the Boney children decided they wanted to go back into the business. Obviously, they couldn't use Henry's as that had become the property of Wild Oats, but the Sprouts and Windmill Farms names still belonged to the family. IIRC, 2 of the brother were in AZ and began using the Sprouts name there, so the remaining family members used Windmill Farms when they opened in Del Cerro.

              There is a sign by one set of automatic doors at Pancho Villa market that indicates the produce is supplied by the Boney family. I have never been able to determine if it's an old sign from the old grocer store that was there before, or if it's a current sign. I do know from having shopped at Windmill Farms pretty extensively over the last 5-6 years that the produce, display/merchandising, packaging, signage and such are pretty much identical between WF and PV, except the prices are substantially lower at PV ;-). I have always thought it odd that Windmill Farms regularly has items that are more typically found in Latin groceries than a grocery store in the 'burbs.

          2. Specialty produce might work. They have everything that is instock listed on their web site.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SDGourmand

              thanks guys! I will follow up on these leads!

              1. re: daantaat

                A coworker used get boxes at 99 Ranch and they were the best Mangoes I ever had.
                They were the Kent, may not be in season right now.

            2. A few weeks ago, I got a box of Manila mangos at Lucky Seafood on Mira Mesa. They were excellent, perfect for making mango with sticky rice.

              Lucky Seafood
              9326 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA

              1 Reply