Mango Buyer's Guide
How to choose the best mangoes and some varieties to look for.
There is nothing quite as refreshing as a cool snack of mango slices. Mangoes are sweet, tasty and a good source of fiber and vitamin A. Here are some tips for selecting mangoes and preparing them at home.
Shopping Tip: The ripest mangoes have a sweet fruity aroma at their stem ends and flesh that gives slightly when gently squeezed. (Don’t judge by color; redness doesn’t always equal ripeness.)
Storage Tip: Refrigerate ripe mangoes for up to five days. Firm mangoes ripen at room temperature; speed the process by placing in a paper bag.
The six types of mangoes commonly found in supermarkets are usually generically labeled and vary seasonally. Here’s how to discern which luscious mango is in your market today.
Ataulfo: These mangos are from Mexico, Ecuador and Guatemala, and are small and yellow with a flattened oval shape. Their delicate flavor balances spicy and sweet notes, and the texture is delightfully buttery. Ataulfo appears briefly in January and returns mid-February until mid-August.
Francine: These mangoes are from Haiti and have an unusual S-shape. It’s sweet and creamy with a greenish-yellow hue. Look for Francine from mid-March until September.
Haden: Characterized by a luscious pineapple-peachy tropical taste, this type epitomizes the general perception of mango’s flavor. Green-to-yellow with red bursts, Haden is medium-to-large and either oval or round. Haden mangoes hail from Mexico and South America, fill shelves from mid-February until August, and return in mid-October until year’s end.
Keitt: Rich, sweet, fruity and silky-smooth. Green in color with a modest crimson blush, Keitt is grown in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico and floods stores May through September.
Kent: This mango has an unusual color—green with dark red overtones and small yellow dots. This large oval mango is similar to Keitt and quite juicy. Grown in Mexico, Ecuador and Peru, enjoy them from January until April, and late-May until mid-September.
Tommy Atkins: These mangoes are imported from Mexico, Guatemala and South America, and can be found year-round. Oval or oblong-shaped, it’s slightly sweet with a fairly fibrous texture. Its color falls between green and gold, with a pronounced red blush.