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May 29, 2013 12:11 PM

Mango Varieties - What NOT to Buy

Hi All -

A question I get all the time do I know what mangoes to buy/not buy. Well, I'll tell you...Avoid Tommy Atkins mangoes; they are stringy/have fiber. For a full primer on the mango varieties available in US markets, please refer to the collection of blog posts contained in this link - I review every single one in detail. You'll never buy a bad mango again! :) I've attached a pic of a Kent mango box at Costco.



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  1. How lovely to have a choice! In Chicago we mostly takes what we gets and likes it. Usually we have "big ones" vs "Manila mangoes" and variety isn't always on the label. One year in a pretty ratty African market I got mangoes that seemed to have no fiber at all---had the consistency of pudding. Seems to be a matter of chance here. But thanks for the link---I will watch for the good names.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Querencia

      Manila mangoes are typically marked as such, but the "big ones" are many times labeled as just "mangoes." Before you buy, ask the produce gal/guy at the store about the variety. You know what to do if they are Tommys. :)

      1. re: Querencia

        Querencia -
        Watch for the Alphonsos - especially in the markets on Devon. Short season, but we get them. Usually in mid summer,I think, the big honkin Mexican ones are at their peak, and it's really easy to pick out great ones, The Atualfos I've been getting have been pretty good right now.

      2. I bought some organic mangoes that were hard to the touch, much less ripe than I usually buy them. They took over a week to ripen. But they had black blotches inside them when I cut them. Is it better to buy mangoes closer to being ripe? Or what caused the black blotches inside?

        1 Reply
        1. re: elise h

          You probably got a bad batch of mangoes - perhaps they were afflicted with a disease called diplodia. The process you used (buy and let ripen) is normally 100% aok, so I wouldn't change your tactic. I've had the same thing happen occasionally and it's so frustrating when the mangoes look good on the outside and the inside is ruined! If this happens again, I would take them back to the store. They were doomed from the get go. You know a mango is ripe when they are soft to the touch and have little wrinkles beginning to form here and there on the skin.

        2. In Montreal we can get the big ones but I prefer the smaller, yellow ones that I think are labelled "Ataulfo". However, the last few times I've bought them, they have been inedibly sour, even when they looked and felt ripe. Has anyone else noticed this? My mom has noticed the same thing in Vancouver.

          1 Reply
          1. re: stak

            I've never had a sour ataulfo; I can't even imagine such a thing. Make sure they are soft and have little wrinkles before you cut into them - that's how you know they're ready. If the flavor is bad under those conditions, I'd return them.

          2. I dislike Tommy Atkins, too. The mango that I have been most impressed with here is the Mexican (not Chilean!) ataulfo.

            1. Hey Wendy - you wouldn't happen to know what Mangoes are most often grown in S. Florida. I lived there as a teen and our house was in a mango grove. They were the most sweet and easy to handle mangoes ever. Good even when green.-

              The fruit looked similar to pic six in your header, but the stem was brown or green, not red.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Hi Sal -

                I whipped out my trusted mango guide and boy - the mangoes you're thinking of could be any one of these: Ford, Irwin, Kent, Rosigold, Sunset, Smith, Z80, Torbert, or Zill. Florida has a TON of mango varieties, so the mangoes you're remembering so fondly could be something different altogether as well.

                1. re: MangoGal

                  Well at least I have a place to start. Thank you for looking it up!