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Tommy Atkins Mangoes
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Tommy Atkins mangoes are a medium to large sized mango variety weighing up to two pounds each. They are broadly oval shaped with a green skin almost always covered with a dark red blush with occasional orange or yellow accents. The smooth skin is covered with small, yellow-green lenticels (pores) that appear like freckles. The skin is thick, protecting the firm, deep yellow flesh during shipping. Tommy Atkins mangoes are juicy, with a somewhat fibrous flesh, and a mildly sweet taste. The fruit must be lightly squeezed to determine ripeness.
Tommy Atkins mangoes are available year-round with a peak season in the late spring and through the summer months.
Tommy Atkins mangoes are a Florida variety of Mangifera indica. While not necessarily the tastiest variety, they became popular among mango growers in Florida in the 1950s as a replacement for the disease-prone haden mangoes. The larger Tommy Atkins mangoes are considered to be visually attractive, and have highly productive and long shelf-life – strong factors in commercial appeal. Today, the Tommy Atkins mango is the most extensively planted commercial cultivar in the Americas.
Tommy Atkins mangoes are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as a good source of fiber. They also contain folate, vitamin B6 and minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron. Like most mangoes, the Tommy Atkins mango contains enzymes that are beneficial for digestion. Those with a sensitivity to poison ivy or poison oak should use care when handling the skin of a mango, irritation can occur.
Tommy Atkins mangoes can be used for both fresh or cooked applications. The skin and sap of mangoes can cause irritation to the skin of some people, so using gloves when peeling mangoes is recommended. Peeled and deseeded, the Tommy Atkins mango can be sliced and served fresh or diced and added to fruit salads for a bit of tropical flavor. The diced fruit can be pureed for use in beverages, desserts and baked goods. Pureed or whole mango pieces can be used in marinades or sauces for chicken, fish or meats. Grilled Tommy Atkins mango slices will compliment barbequed poultry. Combine with diced red peppers, red onions, and cilantro for a mango salsa for fish tacos or to use as a garnish. Tommy Atkins mangoes will store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. Fruits can be kept at room temperature until ripe.
During the 1940s and early 1950s, Thomas Atkins submitted the ‘Tommy Atkins’ mango a handful of times to the Florida Mango Forum for acceptance into the commercial market. The new mango variety was unable to get past the tasting panel, citing fibrous flesh and an “unremarkable” eating quality. However, mango growers in Florida were sold. The attractive mangoes were heavy and consistent producers, disease-resistant and had an extended shelf-life.
Tommy Atkins mangoes were first discovered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the early 1920s. They were reported to have grown from the seed of a haden mango on the property of Thomas H. Atkins in Broward County, Florida. Mr. Atkins was convinced they had commercial appeal and began grafting new trees and sold his first in 1948. The Tommy Atkins mango wasn’t made commercially available until the 1950s, when the haden variety began to fall out of favor with mango growers and suppliers. By the 1970s, the Atkins variety was planted more than any other cultivar in Florida. Outside of Florida, Tommy Atkins mangoes are grown in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Hawaii, where many are exported to the United States.
People have spotted Tommy Atkins Mangoes using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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