Tango With Mango: Exploring Varieties

There are almost as many mango varieties as mango dishes throughout the world. Arguably the definitive fruit of southeast Asia, mangoes have hundreds of varieties worldwide. To stay focused on freshness, we’ll only be discussing mangoes that are either grown or readily available stateside.

Tommy Atkins

This varietal is the most popular commercially, but is known more for its durability than flavor. Originating in Florida, this varietal makes up the most of the US crop. Very mild in flavor but dense in size, these dark red mangoes are best served in dishes that use the fruit as a complimentary flavor, rather than the star.

Honey

True to its namesake, this small mango has a creamy texture and deliciously sweet fruit.  Originally called Ataulfo, this mango will be golden in color and potentially have a few wrinkles on the skin when fully ripe. Honey mangoes peak in the spring, making them wonderful additions to tropical smoothies.

Haden 

This mango is used extensively in Mexican cuisine due to its high-yielding, high-quality fruit. Unlike some other varietals, small white spots are actually a good sign! They help indicate that the fruit is fully ripe. Try mixing them with jalapeños for a balanced mango salsa!

Kent

Very popular throughout the United States, this variety has a dark green exterior and supremely juicy-flesh. Usually found during the summer months, this should be one of your go-to varieties for juicing.

Palmer

The big boy when it comes mango varieties. Literally. Originally cultivated in south Florida, these mangoes frequently push two pounds. They also become available later on during the season, making them a great choice for late summer or fall menus.