Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
One day a couple of months ago, I was home visiting my dad. We went to the local (35 minute drive away) gourmet grocery store (it’s called Guido’s because where I’m from, that’s not a racial epithet, it’s just a name) because my dad never has any food in his fridge, unless you count already opened single serve yogurt and expired soy milk. As I walked through the produce section, I saw there was a tray with samples of something called a “Champagne mango.” “Huh,” I thought. “What the fuck is a Champagne mango?”
I’ve always liked mangoes so my interest was piqued, especially because the little chunks of fruit looked orange and ripe. I stuck a toothpick in one and put it in my mouth (that’s how you eat just fyi) and it. was. AMAZING. I stood there and ate an entire piece of fruit worth of samples before realizing I could just throw a few in my cart because my dad was paying. And that’s when Champagne mangoes changed my life.
It happens like this: I eat lunch. Afterward, I crave something sweet, preferably something that’s cool and refreshing as well. I take a Champagne mango™ out of my fridge and cut off a big slice, thinking that will be enough to satisfy me. Before I know it, I’m sucking the few bits of remaining flesh off the pit of the mango over my sink. I think about eating another one, then remember they cost between $1 and $1.50 a pop and are most definitely full of sugar (natural, but still) and go back to work, the sweet taste still lingering on my tongue.
All of which to say: they’re really good. I’ve been talking about Champagne mangoes to anyone who will listen (no one) for the last few weeks, and no one I’ve spoken to (at) has ever heard of them before. Though I hadn’t heard of them until a few weeks ago either, I can recall seeing them in stores and being perplexed that they were labeled as mangoes. You may have seen them too — they’re yellowish-orange, kidney-shaped and smaller than regular mangoes. They look like this.
I did some researched (found this vaguely disturbing propaganda website) and discovered that an alternate name for this fruit is Ataulfo. Apparently it’s the result of crossbreeding of different kinds of mangoes in the Chiapas region of Mexico. Cool, but on the other hand: who cares? I don’t need to know anything about Champagne mangoes, I just need to eat them.
What’s so amazing about them, you ask? They’re always good. Like, always. Whereas regular mangoes usually aren’t good, these ones…are. And that’s basically it. Have you ever cut into a regular mango that looked ripe from the outside and found that it’s mealy and full of brown spots? That never happens with Champagne mangoes. The flesh is always bright orange, firm and sweet — like my thighs. JK my thighs are extremely bitter. They’re like champagne (the mangoes, and my thighs), but better and slightly less expensive.
How long are they in season, you ask? That’s an extremely rude question and I actually don’t want to know the answer. I know a day will come, probably quite soon, when I walk into my beloved Whole Foods 365 (that’s where I’ve been buying them for the past couple of months) and find no Champagne mangoes and I’ll stand there right in the produce section and weep (JK I would never hold up grocery store traffic like that — I have too much respect for the process). But for now, I’ll keep buying 5–6 every time I shop and eating at least one a day while standing over my sink.
Here’s something totally fucking crazy about me: aside from my morning smoothie, I don’t consume a ton of fruit. Or rather, the amount of fruit I eat depends on the season. If there’s nothing I like in season, I’ll go a month or so without eating a proper piece of fruit. These days, however, I feel like a fruit addict. I’m hoping the end of Champagne mango season converges with the beginning of Bing cherry season because, while even messier and not quite as delicious as my mangoes, I would love nothing more than to pop a handful or six into my mouth after lunch.
I’m not ready to think about the end of my love affair with Champagne mangoes, however, and I don’t have to yet. I bought several this week and they were unsurprisingly perfect, so I recommend you run to your nearest Whole Foods (365) and grab a bunch while you still can. You won’t be disappointed — unless you are, in which case you have a shitty palate, which is your fault (or your parents’. I’m not sure how palates work). I, for one, will be stuffing my face with firm, sweet flesh until I have orange juices dripping down my face for as long as fucking possible.
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares how much I love mangoes. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, Champagne mango or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!