Season: Peak season in Mexico is March to July.
History: The Ataulfo is a cultivar originally from Mexico. That’s where ours are coming from. Mangoes came to Mexico from Brazil via Portuguese travelers who brought the tropical fruit to South America in the 1700s. Though the Spanish may have also brought mangoes with them to Mexico a century earlier. The Ataulfo mango was the result of cross-pollination by several varieties (including an Indian variety) in the southern Soconusco region of Mexico in the state of Chiapas, on the border of Guatemala. They were named for grower Ataulfo Morales Gordillo. The sweet mangos are grown primarily in Southern and Central Mexico, with Chiapas being the top producer.
Flavor: It’s one of the smoothest-eating varieties of mango and doesn’t have the fibrous texture found in other types. When ripe, it will be soft to the touch (and possibly even wrinkled). The fruit will have a velvety texture and a sweet mango taste.
Storage: Do not refrigerate mangoes! Keep them at room temperature. If you only want to eat half, cut and score the remaining half, remove from the skin and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it will keep for a few days.
How to use: Ataulfo mangos make excellent sorbet, jams, tarts and chutneys. Try adding mango cubes to pancakes, muffins and waffles. Sauteed mango is a great accompaniment to poultry and roasted meats. Pureed mango makes a great addition to smoothies, juices, ice cream and curries.
Mango salsa is another great way to use it; chop it up and mix with classic salsa ingredients like cilantro, red onion, lime juice and garlic.
Nutrition: If you’re looking for a source of Vitamin A and its antioxidant companion beta-carotene, you’re in the right place. The mango is also rich in Vitamin C and a respectable source of fiber as well as potassium – in fact, it actually beats the banana in the potassium contest.