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How to Enjoy the Ataulfo Mango

ataulfo mango

You may or may not know that ataulfo mangoes are one of my very favorite fruits, right up there with the locally-grown peaches I pick each summer.

And you may or may not know that these little delicacies are in season right now!

Unfortunately, like most fruits, most people have no idea how to enjoy this scrumptious speciality the proper way (i.e. when ripe and full of flavor).

Since you may be in the same boat, I’d like to take a little time out to show you exactly how to get the most out of this amazing mango.

A Mango By Many Names

Ataulfo, Honey, Manila, Yellow, Baby, and Champagne (the brand sold by Ciruli Brothers) all refer to the same mango cultivar. It’s a small variety that is in season from as early as mid-March to early August.

The fruit has green skin and light yellow flesh when unripe. When ripe, the skin is completely golden yellow in color and the flesh becomes golden yellow/orange (see photo above).

What really sets these mangoes apart is the taste and texture. They are both sweeter and muskier than the common green/red varieties (e.g. Kent and Tommy Atkins) and have a smoother, creamier texture.

There really is nothing like this magnificent fruit!

Where to Find Them

You won’t typically see Ataulfo mangoes in a regular grocery store. Instead, try buy in bulk stores like Costco (they sell them in packages of six mangoes, six packages to a flat), Whole Foods (ask for a case so you can get a 10% discount), or local Hispanic markets.

If you still can’t find any, ask the store managers and see if they can order the fruit for you or direct you to their wholesale produce supplier.

Look for fruit that is unripe, i.e. green or mostly green. I’ve found that when I purchase Ataulfo mangoes ripe or close to it, they are usually rotting inside near the seed and taste off.

When Are They Ripe

As I already mentioned, a ripe Ataulfo mango has golden yellow/orange skin and flesh. The fruit should give when you press on it. If the fruit is light yellow and/or doesn’t give to pressure, it isn’t ripe yet. Just let it sit in a warm environment for a couple of days and check it again.

In a warm environment (e.g. outdoors in the sunshine), it takes about 5 days for a green Ataulfo mango to fully ripen. Sometimes the skin will wrinkle slightly as the fruit ripens. This is perfectly fine.

Personally, I’ve found that if I place the fruit outdoors or in a really warm room, it doesn’t tend to wrinkle as much or at all. Plus, it ripens a little bit sooner.

If you’re unsure if your fruit is ripe yet, try this knife test. Take a sharp parring knife and slowly cut away a tiny bit of skin, being careful not to remove it completely.

If the knife slides in almost effortless with very little resistance and the flesh is deep yellow underneath and smells sweet, the mango is ripe. If you have to see-saw the knife back and forth to peel the skin, the fruit isn’t ripe yet.

In that case, simply replace the little bit of peel and let the fruit ripen for a couple more days.

How to Prepare Them

Using the same method explained in the knife test, take a paring knife and slowly peel away all of the skin, being careful to stay as close to the skin as possible so as not to waste any of the delicious fruit inside.

Once the skin has been removed, dig in! Just bite the fruit right off the seed. It’s really satisfying. :)

If you need the fruit for a particular recipe, just slice the large pieces (called the “cheeks”) away from the pit and chop, dice, blend, etc.

CAUTION: When using the above method, it’s imperative that you go slowly and keep your hand out of the way of the knife. The hand holding the mango should be under the fruit and you should slice towards you from the top of the fruit, rotating as you go but always keeping your hand away from the blade.

If you’re at all uncomfortable with this method, you can simply slice the fruit away from the seed and then scoop the flesh out of the skin.

How to Enjoy Them

Personally, I think the best way to enjoy the ataulfo mango is to eat it on it’s own. I love to peel a whole bunch of them, slice off the meaty bits, eat with a fork and scrap the rest off of the seed with my teeth.

Oh, it’s recipes you’re looking for? No prob. Here’s an uber tasty one that just creams Spring!

Mango Strawberry Salad

  • 5 Ataulfo mangoes, peeled
  • 2 pints strawberries, hulled
  • Handful of mint

Chop the mango flesh and mint, slice the strawberries, and mix everything together in a big bowl.

Your Thoughts?

What’s your take on the Ataulfo mango? Do you love ‘em like I do? Do you hate them (gasp, blasphemy!)? Have you never tried one?

Leave your comments below! In the meantime, it’s breakfast time here and I’ve got mango on the menu! :D

Go raw and be fit,


P.S. Want some more tasty and satisfying raw recipes starring this mouthwatering mango? Check out my raw recipe e-book:

“Low Fat, Fruit Filled, High Fun Raw Recipes”

Delicious and Healthy Raw Vegan Favorites for Every Meal




Specifically, check out Better Than Candy Confection on page 10, Red Currant Pasta on page 26, Summer Raspberry on page 27, and Sweet Marinara on page 28.

And don’t fret if you can’t find the Ataulfo mango variety. Any ole’ mango (as long as it’s ripe) will work beautifully in these recipes. :)



1 Chris { 04.25.11 at 8:24 am }

Yes Swayze, Ataulfo are my favorite mangos… food…. By far too! After going raw, they have been a staple for me when they are in season which is about 8 months where I live. They are best on their own. And as someone who really never ate fruit or even mangos before going raw, a plate full of ataulfos all cut up and ready to eat is one of my favorite meals!

2 Laurie { 04.25.11 at 9:13 am }

I discovered those while out in Monterey last spring and summer, Swayze. Most delicious fruit ever! I gorged on them daily! ;)

3 Christie { 04.25.11 at 9:40 am }

A local grocery store emailed me a coupon for a free Atauflo mango- I like them, but I like my regular mangos too. The one I got seemed more acidic than the regular variety.

My favorite way to eat em is to chop one up and serve it with some tomatoes on top of baby spinach. I drizzle a little balsamic or some lime juice on top. Yum!

Swayze Reply:

When ripe, they should not be acidic at all. You definitely had one that wasn’t ripe yet.

4 Ellen { 04.25.11 at 12:15 pm }

Ataulfo are my favorite mangos, for sure! I don’t peel the whole thing though…too slippery so I end up dropping them on the floor etc. LOL I cut them like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvLdPjpELyU

I eat them mono a lot of the time, but my 2nd fave way is blended/pulsed with strawberries (in the food processor). Oh. My. Goodness! Amazing!

5 Ellen { 04.25.11 at 12:20 pm }

I also meant to say I get them by the case at an Asian market. The grocery stores near me sell small ones, but the ones at the Asian stores tend to be bigger, 10-14 per case. Not organic, but great!

Swayze, what’s with that weird, hard, white-ish stuff that’s sometimes inside these mangos?

Swayze Reply:

That’s a great question that I honestly have no idea what the answer is!

6 Kim { 04.27.11 at 12:58 pm }

Can’t wait to try that recipe, Swayze! Ataulfos are my favorite fruit (so far!) and I do a happy dance when they come into season (and when I get to monomeal on them)!

My husband recently picked up a huge batch of ataulfos at Whole Foods and the checkout clerk told him that where she is from, this variety of mangoes isn’t considered to be anything special and the fruits are usually just thrown into the streets for the wildlife and strays. Lucky animals! ;-)

7 Caryn { 04.27.11 at 7:32 pm }

Swayze, I agree that the atualfos are superior to regular and fab overall. Strange experience you’ve had with the store-bought ripe ones being brown inside. I get mine at an International market and that is rarely the case. In fact, I got 2 boxes of 18 yellow from the start and over two weeks only a couple had small problem areas. Doug Graham’s mango-strawberry-OJ smoothie is becoming a regular for me. Russell James makes a great mango lassi with some lemon juice and salt too.

8 Harry Gimelfarb { 03.29.12 at 5:37 pm }

Can anyone explain the “seed rot” that occurs in these mangoes? Some have it and some don’t. I love them too but sometimes this fiborous growth in the meat is very bothersome. HELP!!!!!