African mangos in DC
May 3, 2010 9:33 AM   Subscribe

The mangos I ate in West Africa had a powerfully piney overtone, a scent like cotton candy mixed with turpentine. None of the blandly sweet mangos I've eaten in the US have even come close to that incredible flavor. Is there anywhere in the DC area I can find those pungent African mangos?  

posted by itstheclamsname to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
These sound delicious! The flavor of Mexican ataulfo mangos, often labeled champagne mangoes in the US, reminds me of your description. They definitely have the piney flavor, at the very least.
posted by bubukaba at 10:09 AM on May 3, 2010

Believe it or not, I occasionally found ataulfo / champagne mangos at Costco last year. Here in Richmond, VA, I have found some in the local Asian grocery store.

In general, I've found these mangos to be sweeter than the usual ones in US grocery stores (which I think tend to be a lot more fibrous and less intense in flavor).
posted by QuantumMeruit at 10:17 AM on May 3, 2010

I should have added - champagne mangoes should be available through most produce wholesalers this time of year (the champagne mango website says they're available from March-July), though whether a given store carries them is up to their buyer. Mexican grocery stores might be a good bet, though.
posted by bubukaba at 10:26 AM on May 3, 2010

A friend says an "Indian" mango is probably the Alphonso mango, and that the ataulfo is close, but not quite the same. The Washington Post reported on availability of Alphonso mangos in 2007.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 10:27 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't think champagne mangoes are what is needed here, but HMart in Catonsville had them by the case for US$8 a few weeks ago.

Alphonsos are tons better than champagne mangoes.

If you are totally desperate, you could try calling the embassy of whatever West African countries you had the good mangoes in, and asking if they have a local source for mangoes. Or perhaps an African student organization at one of the local universities.
posted by QIbHom at 12:11 PM on May 3, 2010

Not as powerful as you may be after, but try a Filipino grocery for nice mangoes.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:04 PM on May 3, 2010

Where I live, Ataulfo mangoes are called Manila mangoes, and they do indeed have the piny taste. They may no be the same, but they are better than the average mango you find in the US.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:19 PM on May 3, 2010

We get piney mangoes in Australia as well, although they're not as popular as the bland ones. My understanding is that mangoes are like beans: there are thousands of varieties and when looking for a particular type you will find that there are ones similar to the ones you want, but which have a different name.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:32 PM on May 3, 2010

I came home last night and found (to my delight) that my wife had bought a dozen Ataulfo from Wal-Mart. $0.88 each.
posted by QuantumMeruit at 8:03 AM on May 7, 2010

Response by poster: Sounds like Indian mangos are what I'm searching for. The Champagne ones I checked out didn't have the pungency I'm seeking. While I haven't been successful in locating the Alphonso mangos, I found an Indian grocery in Fairfax where they stocked a variety with a similar taste - not exactly what I remember, but the best I've found yet. I bought a whole case and it's $10 of pure heaven. The hunt continues. Thanks for the recommendations!
posted by itstheclamsname at 4:47 AM on May 14, 2010

« Older Central CA Adventure   |   Teetotalers need sommeliers too Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.