There are so many deliciously sweet fruits ripening this season, and mangos are a summer favorite. The flavor instantly transports you to a tropical paradise, which we will gladly welcome–especially since turning on the “Out of Office” email setting is very tempting this time of year.

Some of the most popular mango varieties are Tommy Atkins, Ataulfos, Haydens, and Keitts, most of which grow in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America. The Mexican states of Guerrero, Nayarit, and Sinaloa are the main producers, and the country is one of the biggest exporters worldwide.

Mango Tree. Image: Franzwa Roux.

Southern California’s warm climate allows local farmers to nurture mango groves, although it is a water intensive crop, which can make the harvesting window quite small or drastically impacted–as we’ve noticed this year. Local suppliers, like Specialty Produce, work with wholesale distributors and provide restaurants and shoppers with a great selection of high-quality varieties.

Nutritionally speaking, mangos are a good source of folate and are full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B6. When looking to find the perfect mango, choose your selection based on aroma and touch, rather than appearance.

Image: Bannon Morrissy.

And if you want to leave the picking and sourcing to the professionals, be sure to try these marvelous mango creations around town.

Mango Tart at Urban Plates

The mango tart from Urban Plates has a cult following, and we totally get it. The buttery crust is filled with tangy cream that is smothered with an obscene amount of sliced mango. When the entire tart is admired from above, it has a jaw-dropping rosette appearance.

Mango Tart from Urban Plates. Image: Rose Fox.

Mango Sticky Rice at Supannee House of Thai

Check out Supannee House of Thai’s incredible Instagram video highlighting sticky mango rice with tea steeped from edible bougainvillea flowers. The presentation is absolutely beautiful!

Mango Sticky Rice. Image: Supannee House of Thai.

Mango Sticky Rice Ice Cream at Stella Jean's Ice Cream

Gan Suebsarakham, one of the founders of Stella Jean’s, tapped into his Thai roots when creating this flavor. Mixing a combination of their mango sorbet with coconut and oat milk makes it a plant-based treat.

Mango Sticky Rice Ice Cream. Image: Stella Jean’s Ice Cream.

Chamango at Yog-art Frozen Yogurt

Given San Diego’s proximity to the Mexico border, you have probably enjoyed the delicious combination of mango and chili seasoning. Conveniently, you can travel no further than North Park to experience a chamango–a fruity mango drink drenched in chamoy, a spicy and savory syrup, that can be slurped up with a chili covered straw. Yog-art also has yummy frozen yogurt flavors, like tart taro, and other cool treats.

Chamango. Image: Yog-art Frozen Yogurt.

Mango Kakigori at MNGO Cafe

MNGO Cafe has a menu full of mango centric options. One that has caught our eye is their kakigori, a Japanese shaved ice dessert, that they decorate with locally grown organic edible flowers from a San Marcos-based farm.

Kakigori. Image: MNGO Cafe.

Can’t get enough of the mango madness? Be sure to check out or recipe for Mexican Fruit Salad.

This article was originally published June 15, 2021 exclusively on Edible San Diego Weekly. Want to join the club? Support the region's only dedicated, local, and independently-owned food media company by signing up for a digital membership or subscription today.

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