By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Rich in blood-pressure-lowering minerals like magnesium and potassium, and a compound known as mangiferin, which early studies suggest may help in reducing inflammation of the heart, mangos have been called the King of Fruits.
And for good reason.
Mangos, with their lush woody tang and creamy soft, high-fiber texture, are considered to be one of the most flavorful foods on Earth.
Mexico, with an annual output of more than 2,000 tons of this incredibly healthy, incredibly tasty natural wonder, is currently responsible for nearly 3 percent of the global annual output of mangos, valued at $95 million.
And while the succulent yellow-fleshed fruit is produced in 24 Mexican states, it is most prominently farmed for export in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, famous for its ultra-sweet, stringless Kent variety.
Versatile for cooking (think mango meringue pie or mango martinis), easy to serve (just cut open and enjoy), low in calories (just 60 per 100 grams) and packed with nutrients (a whopping 20 different vitamins and minerals), it is hard to find any drawbacks about mangos.
But there is one: There production season is very limited.
In Mexico, the peak season runs from May to September, and while you generally can find some varieties of the mangos at the supermarket year-round (there are at least 500 different species of the fruit, 350 of which are sold commercially), you won’t get that sumptuous Kent or peachy Ataulfo flavor in the dead of winter.
Or at least you couldn’t until now.
Last month, three enterprising Sinaloa sisters — Paola, Pamela and Daniela Wong — decided to produce a selection of high-end natural mango snacks made from their families own mango farm, which has been exporting the fruit for more than 35 years.
Naming their brand Señor Mango after the nickname their dad acquired as the local King of the King of Fruits, the girls have just begun to market their products in Mexico, and are soon hoping to go international with sales in Asia and the United States.
These delectable, dehydrated mango snacks — made exclusively from Kent fruits — come in five different varieties: Señor Mango Natural, Señor Mango Pink (with ruby chocolate), Señor Mango Dark (with dark bittersweet chocolate), Señor Mango Enchilada (spiced with chilies) and Señor Mango Crispy Matcha (the name says it all).
Available in airport and other gourmet boutiques nationwide, these heart-healthy comestibles are an ideal in-between-meals nosh or a handy grab-for-that-mile-high-hunger-attack ration before boarding a plane.
Asked during a recent press conference to introduce their brand if they were planning to introduce any additional flavors in the near future, the Wong sisters said “yes,” but refused to offer any hints as to what those new varieties would be.
For now, I am content to munch away at the five types on the market now, at last enjoying a seasonal delight on a year-round basis.