I realized this weekend that I do not have even one mango reviewed on this website. I was truly puzzled by this discovery because I would list the mango as one of my very favorite fruit of all time. It was the first “exotic” fruit introduced to me by my grandmother when I was five and was a huge departure from the orange, apple and banana I had experience up to that point. It remained the most exotic thing I would try for another 15+ years.

My grandmother died when I was six, so it sticks out as one of very few memories I have of her. She was introduced to the mango when she lived in Hawaii — a place she lived for quite a few years, as did my mother, as did I — all in our twenties. All of us either moving toward or away from various men. In a way, a mango represents strength to me, and independence. For each of us the relocation required a great amount of courage. I think there is some part of me that feels the mango, the fruit I so closely associate with all of these memories, is sacred and shouldn’t be rated the way I do on this site. I don’t know. I can’t think of a good reason why I keep deciding not to highlight one here. But I keep doing it, so there must be some logic to it.

Regardless, I was delighted to see a Mango Orange variety of citrus at the market this week so I had a chance to celebrate my beloved mango in some small way without having to rate it just yet. If you see this orange I definitely recommend it, as well as any mangoes you find of course. And when you see them, I hope that for a small moment you are reminded of this story and pause to connect for a moment with your own strength and courage, right there in the grocery store. Because really, is there any other time?

Mango Orange

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★☆

Baseball size, perfectly round orange with gorgeous flesh ranging from sunkist orange to salmon pink.

AROMA Rating: ★★★½☆

Mild, sweet orange.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★★

Juicy, tender flesh that seems to just melt in your mouth. This might be the very best citrus texture I have ever tried. I would dare to say it is creamy.

TASTE Rating: ★★★½☆

No acidity or tartness in the flavor but I can feel some acidity on my tongue in the aftertaste. Think of a sweet mellow orange magnified with well rounded vanilla flavor.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

While I like this orange quite a bit particularly for the texture, I tend to like my citrus, and really most fruit actually, with a nice bit of acidity. This orange is missing that extra punch of flavor. I’m also slightly disappointed it doesn’t taste anything like mangoes, though I suppose an argument could be made that the flesh looks a little like one, but it would be a thin argument. I read in the LA Times that this orange’s real name is Vaniglia Sanguigno, Italian for “Vanilla Blood”, and I have to admit that despite my confessed love of mangoes, I find that to be a far more fitting name. It has a pretty clear vanilla note and the coloring is certainly more reminiscent of a blood orange than a mango. Also, I like the idea of telling people I had Vanilla Blood for breakfast. It takes the idea of fruit giving strength to a whole new level.

Grocery Store
(Vaniglia Anguigno)


What do you think the better name is? Mango Orange? Or Vanilla Blood? Which name would get you to buy it? Clearly I would buy it either way.