Can’t escape to the tropics this summer? Well, bring the taste of the tropics into your kitchen with the beautiful ataulfo mango. These golden treats, also known as the yellow or champagne mango, are full of healthy goodness. Beyond being delicious and rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, mangos contain an enzyme similar to papain found in papayas. These comforting enzymes act as a digestive aid and can be held partially responsible for feelings of contentment and peace.
Ataulfo mangos are ready when they have a bright yellow color and slight give to the touch. According to champagnemango.com they should NOT be refrigerated until totally ripe. Once ripe they can be stored in the fridge to extend their life a bit. If the skin slightly wrinkles that is OK- in fact that is when the fruit is at its sweetest point. If the mango has large gray or black spots it is probably past its prime. If eaten before they are ready the fruit will taste tart and will leave a tingling sensation on the tongue and lips. When fully ripened these beautiful gems are sweet and smooth without the fibers usually associated with mango.
We all know that mangos are fabulous juiced or tossed in smoothies but their uses in the kitchen go far beyond cold drinks. Diced mango is delish as a topping for chicken and rice dishes. Make a mango, ginger puree and use it glaze pork for an easy Sunday dinner. Mango vanilla jam is my favorite homemade condiment (it tastes like ice cream!) Of course, in our house mangos rarely last long enough for us to do much with them. Peeled and eaten like candy, mangos are my kids favorite snack. When I can save some for cooking I love this refreshing chicken curry salad. The heat of the curry offers a great balance for the sweet mango and on a hot summer day I love a meal that doesn’t require the stove.
Whatever you do with them mangos are a great treat. Feel the tropical breezes blow as you enjoy this beautiful fruit…happy cooking!