I’ve been spending a lot of time in Trader Joe’s lately. It’s one of the only places in town you can find creamy, fresh burrata (and doesn’t require a month’s rent like the stuff at Whole Foods), but they also have a stunning assortment of dried fruits and snacks. I’ve been absolutely smitten with one of their latest items: green mangos. Unsulfured and sweetened, these chopped and shredded mangos come by way of the Philippines, and the reason they’re so superior to TJ’s other dried fruits is the texture. They’ve finally figured out that chewy leather doesn’t taste all that good, and while I love the ambition behind freeze-dried mangosteens and rambutans, I’m not sure anyone outside of a NASA employee can really appreciate the freeze-dried texture.
From the first moment I popped these pale green fruits into my mouth, I knew they were special. “Tart & sweet” - just as advertised - and none of the horrible artificial sweetness or overly sweet/puckery flavors that are all too familiar with other brands. Most important of all: the texture is both soft and yet firm, and doesn’t require 30 seconds of chewing, like some of their other dried mango products. They have 0 grams of fat and cholesterol, with a healthy 24g of sugar per serving (which is about 16 pieces); there are four servings in a bag. A bonus: you also get 15% of your daily intake of Vitamin C in the deal.
You could dip them in a bit of sugar, salt and chile like the Thais do out in front of Wat Po in Bangkok, but they’re just as good straight from the bag. In fact, I bought all three bags you see in the picture above, because I knew I would probably blow through one of them in the car on the way home.