With their nectar-sweet taste and sunshine yellow flesh, ripe, juicy mangoes are the ultimate summer fruit. Thought to have originated in the tropical forests of the Indian subcontinent, the mango has been cultivated in South and South East Asia since ancient times, and is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
These days mangoes are grown anywhere with a tropical or warmer subtropical climate, and their flavour is known and loved throughout the world. They can be made into desserts, added to salads and salsas, made into juices and smoothies, or just enjoyed as a delicious, fresh piece of fruit.
If you struggle cutting a mango into manageable pieces, take a look at this easy guide from Jessica Gavin showing how to cut a mango, or if you’re feeling like a mango maverick, you can try this new way to eat mango that went viral on TikTok last year.
What is Ataulfo mango and where does it come from?
Also known as the honey mango, the Ataulfo mango is a small, bright yellow mango, named for its honey sweet flavour. It is also known for its butter-soft, non-fibrous texture that makes it ideal for blending into smoothies, lassis and sorbets. The Ataulfo is smaller than most mangoes, but it also has a particularly thin seed, which means more soft, juicy flesh.
The Ataulfo mango comes from Mexico, and is named after Ataulfo Morales Gordillo, who first grew it. Mangoes are thought to have arrived in Mexico via Brazil, where they were brought by Portuguese travellers in the 1700s. Over the years, growers bred new varieties, and the Ataulfo was developed by Gordillo in the the Soconusco region of Chiapas, which has since been granted the designation of origin for the fruit.
If you want to try Ataulfo mangoes, they are in season from late February through to early August, and you may see them in stores marketed as honey mangoes, baby mangoes, or champagne mangoes. The best way to select a ripe fruit is by smell and touch. A ripe mango will have a sweet, fragrant smell, and give way a little when squeezed.
Nutritional facts and benefits
Mango in general is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, with one cup (165g) providing up to 67% of your RDI of vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of copper and vitamin A, as well as providing several B vitamins, some vitamin K, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
Mango can provide a boost to your immune system, with vitamin A to fight infections and vitamin C to help produce more white blood cells. It may also promote healthy digestion, as it contains a group of enzymes called amylases that help break down large molecules of carbohydrates into sugar molecules.
While mango is a highly nutritious fruit, it is quite high in sugar. Unlike your favourite candy bar, these sugars come with a range of vitamins and minerals, so mango can be a healthy option if you’re craving something sweet. As with all sugary foods, however, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
If you’re lucky enough to have some Ataulfo mango, why not try making one of these delicious mango recipes?
Mango gazpacho: created by S.Pellegrino Young Chef for the Iberian and Mediterranean Countries, Albert Manso Miras, this chilled summer soup is a delicious tropical twist on a classic gazpacho, and makes the perfect appetiser for a special meal.
Fresh and easy mango salsa: this simple 6 ingredient salsa from Choosing Chia is bursting with different flavours, from sweet Ataulfo mango to savoury onion, zesty lime juice and spicy jalapeños. It tastes great as a spicy dip for tortilla chips, or as a topping for tacos.
Mango sorbet: sweet, creamy Ataulfo mangoes are the perfect choice for this delicious sorbet from Saveur. This simple dessert is made using just Ataulfo mangoes, cane sugar and water for the perfect summer cooler.
Ataulfo mango jam: this wonderfully sweet and tropical jelly from Food is another perfect vehicle for the smoothness and sweetness of the Ataulfo. Try it swirled through yoghurt or ice cream, as a topping for pancakes, or on top of your overnight oats.
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