A better mango

Mangoes are my favorite fruit, so this is important.

Guys, I found a new and better kind of mango.

It’s called a Kiett mango. Completely green even when fully ripe (as you can see above), Kiett mangoes have a great flavor, sweet and a little tangy, and are completely un-stringy. One was clearly not a large enough sample size, so I tried three of them (two from the Ithaca Wegmans and one from the Geneva Wegmans).

But what do I mean, a better mango? The iconic mango, the one you probably think of when you think ‘mango’ if you live in the U.S., is the Tommy Atkins. To me this always sounded more like the name of a grenade or a WWII infantryman than the name of a fruit. It turns out it is actually the term for a common soldier in the British Army, but the fruit is named after Thomas Atkins, who found the mango on his land in Florida. The mango is big and has a nice color, either red or a mixture of green and red, like this:

Tommy Atkins mangoes were a treat when I was growing up, and I ate them for years and years and years, and loved them. They were the only mangoes I had ever eaten. It turns out, though, that they’re kind of the red delicious apples of the mango world. They’re a nice color, easy to ship, and disease resistant, but their taste isn’t great and they’re very fibrous and stringy.

So then I discovered Ataulfo mangoes (Champagne mangoes are a kind of Ataulfo). Often sold in NYC at supermarkets and bodegas, they’re smaller, flattened, and yellow. They have a creamy, fiberless texture. They taste much better than Tommy Atkins and are easier to eat. But even so, they’re very sweet, hardly tangy at all. Here’s an Ataulfo mango on the left and a Kiett mango on the right:

Kiett mangoes are a good middle ground: tangy like a Tommy Atkins, but with a much better flavor and the smooth texture of an Ataulfo. At least, they’re the best I’ve found so far in New York State.

See if you can find any Kiett mangoes! Their season (in California, where they are grown) is August until late October. I got mine in mid-October, and last week the Ithaca Wegmans said they were trying to get more.

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One thought on “A better mango

  1. I discovered champagne mangos a few years back and loved them so much… but they were the same price as the “red delicious” mangos and half the size. I will definitely be on the lookout for a Kiett! Thank you for the tip!

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