I am usually a huge proponent of eating local grown produce. It tastes better because it was picked more recently or it is variety that doesn’t travel well. It also has a much smaller carbon footprint and supports the local economy. All good things. However, there are some exceptions that just must be made and for me, the champagne mango (also known as the Ataulfo mango) is one of them. At first glance it doesn’t necessarily look all that impressive. It is smallish, yellowish, and not nearly as charismatic as its larger green/red counterpart that we are used to. To me the difference is like comparing a Hass avocado with a Florida avocado (a post for another day). One is far, far superior in flavor and texture and ease of use.
But back to mangos. In my part of the country champagne mangos are only available during late spring and summer, and even then only at the higher end supermarkets. But, I eat them like they are going out of style during that time. A whole mango is only 2 pts. Their flavor is so complex they don’t really need much adornment. They combine particularly well with strawberries (local ones are just starting to show up at the farmers market) or with blackberries. Just slice up and mix in a bowl…no sugar, no sauce, just perfect all on their own.
If you’d like something more interesting, try mixing mashed up mango into light or fat free cream cheese, thin with a little fat free milk or fat free half & half and drizzle over angel food cake slices and cut up mixed fruit. Try spreading the mango cream cheese (sans milk) on your favorite low-fat, low-cal banana bread or muffin. Or soak chopped up mangos and other fruits in a 1/4 cup of port and then dress your angel food cake with that. Heavenly!
Not sure how to break in to the lovely beast without hacking your thumbs off? There are nice tutorials at:
Word of Caution: Mangos are in the same plant family as poison ivy. This does NOT mean that they are poisonous! It does mean that some people can get a little skin irritation by handling the skin of the mango too much. However, I am pretty sensitive to poison ivy and I have never had any trouble handling mangos. If you are concerned, just wear a pair of gloves like you would if you were handling extremely hot peppers.
Grammatical Note: The plural of mango in English is correct as either “mangoes” or “mangos”. In Spanish it is “mangos”. Since the Champagne Mango that I love so much is produced primarily in Mexico I tend to go with the shorter spelling.