08 Feb2007

“Pico” Mangoes

by Marketman


These small “pico” mangoes were all over the markets last weekend. I’m not sure if they are just mutant carabao mangoes or an altogether different species of the fruit, but they are attractive and delicious. The photos don’t really convey how small some of these pico2were but weight wise they were probably just 30-35% of the normal large Cebu or Guimaras mangoes that I usually buy. I have been trying to cut back on my meal/dessert portions so I figured if I ate smaller mangoes I would save on the calories. It didn’t work the first time around because I ended up eating four halves of small mango instead of two large halves… but at any rate, the flavor was intense and the sweetness would rival that of a much larger mango. These are also terrific in mango shakes, ice candy, and other desserts. Six to eight halves could easily fit in a normal sized dinner plate. If you had reliable access to this version of the fruit, you could see it used in restaurant dessert plates and as part of well put together fruit platters or just eat it peeled like a monkey might… grab some if you see them at the markets from PHP55-70 a kilo, depending on low or high rent district!



  1. Maria Clara says:

    If the Pico mango variety that I know of is the same one you featured here, then they have been around for awhile. Beyond reasonable doubt they are one and the same. Another distinguished mark of the Pico variety when they reached the matured green stage they develop a red button like marked in them “butones” as they call them. They usually favor them in their green savory stage rather than yellow ripened stage with sautéed bagoong alamang as the unbeatable duo. I love them with chopped tomatoes, red onion and sautéed bagoong alamang with boiled shrimp and blue crabs. I still prefer our carabao mango variety for ripe mangoes.

    Feb 8, 2007 | 7:58 am


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  3. joey says:

    I have been out on the weekends (and for the weekends to come as well) so haven’t been able to hit the markets :( Missing it! Ah, well, at least I have your posts to keep me company :)

    Feb 8, 2007 | 10:18 am

  4. CecileJ says:

    Hala, MM, where have you been? Those “pico” or “piko” in Tagalog, mangoes have been around since forever. They are the “poor man’s mangoes” as they sell for a lower price (your 55-70 per kilo is too expensive.) Carabao mangoes taste better but pikos are sweet even when they are half ripe. They are also more fibrous.

    Either variety, Philippine-grown mangoes are still the best!

    Feb 8, 2007 | 10:23 am

  5. patanj says:

    I recall my grandma always serving them whole, never sliced. Starting from the narrow end, we ate them as we peeled them with our bare hands..Deeelicious! To this day, that’s the only way I will eat my piko mango.

    Feb 8, 2007 | 10:52 am

  6. MEL WOOD says:

    I love manggang piko when they are just manibalang with just a little salt or bagoong alamang! They are nicer in that stage of ripeness–crunchy with a bit of tartness and a hint of sweetness–than when they are fully ripened. Their sweetness when ripe is bland compared to the the carabao mangos which are really sweet and very fragrant.

    Pity, all we can buy here are indian mangoes–ones we call “guapple mangoes” back home that come from the US:(( Walang lasa!

    Feb 8, 2007 | 10:55 am

  7. Marketman says:

    CecileJ, silly, :), I know they have been around for ages, it’s just nice to explore things that you wouldn’t normally do in the course of your weekly marketing. I normally buy the larger ones but I was stunned by the intensity of flavor and sweetness of the pico that I got last weekend…

    Feb 8, 2007 | 11:04 am

  8. cwid says:

    I can’t tell from the pictures if these are the pahutan or “supsupin” variety which are very small mangoes (2 to 3 inches in length), deep golden yellow when fully ripe, fibrous and with large seeds. The flesh is very sweet.

    We used to grow these in my parents’ farm in Dasmarinas, Cavite not as a crop but as a natural demarcation for the boundaries. I remember that truckloads of these would be brought to the city and the kids would have a blast playing with them. We took these for granted because there was always a lot and even if we gave them away, we would always end up with rotten mangoes.

    I have seen these pahutans in Vancouver and they cost a fortune! Must be because they are a novelty.

    Feb 8, 2007 | 11:07 am

  9. tulip says:

    Pico wasn’t as accessible as the Carabao variety before. I remember my dad grew it around the perimeter of the farm and the fruit was eaten/played by the farm animals and wasn’t for market distribution. But ever since the Carabao or known as Manila Super Mango became expensive, Pico is an alternative.CecileJ is right, in some provinces they call it “poor man’s mangoes”.Wala ng libre ngayon talaga, before neighbors would only ask for some of it including the Pahutan.
    Marketman,have you seen Pahutan(Pajo) in Batangas? It is very small, and usually incorporated to salads or condiments. It will be a nice pair with fish or anything grilled like bbq.

    Feb 8, 2007 | 2:02 pm

  10. carmen says:

    i think they call that buico. only in the market for a very short time. very seasonal

    Feb 8, 2007 | 9:54 pm

  11. millet says:

    MM, are you sure these are picos? i think pico mangoes have a more pointed tip and a “shallower cheek” (the mango half). these are not my favorite supsupin mangoes (my mom calls them “chupaderas”),either, because those are more fibrous and rounded and fatter. here in mindanao, the chupaderas are called “mangga kabayo” (counterpart to the carabao, i think ;-}. they cost about P20-P25 a kilo when in season, which is just about now. and patanj is right, they are never sliced….you nip off the narrow end with your teeth and peel down in spirals, and grate your teeth against the fibers to get at the juice. they’re in season for a very short time, but the sweetness and intense flavor more than make up for it. yes, i can finish a whole kilo in one sitting!

    Feb 8, 2007 | 10:08 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Carmen and millet, you may be right and these are referred to as buico…but to us, the smaller mangoes were always pico… but now we may know better!

    Feb 8, 2007 | 10:22 pm

  13. sha says:

    find this post interesting… all i can say is i miss mangoes from cebu… tomorrow the cargo from manila will arrive and its so expensive at the Phil store around 7euro a kilo but when cravings sets in nothing can stop me!!!

    Feb 9, 2007 | 3:32 am

  14. DivineG. says:

    Does mango cause “bungang araw” or prickly heat? I love mangoes I used to eat a lot in one sitting when they harvest during the months of late April and early May. Our family owns lots of mango trees in the province and they would sell the whole tree to people but they have to give us our share of the harvest before they would sell any of its fruits. I think this is how they did business. Anyway, they were so sweet and I miss it a lot. The only mangoes here not even as near to it are called Manila Mangoes that come from Mexico. I also love our Indian mangoes , straight from the tree I remember eating it without even removing the skin, so crunchy and sweet.

    Feb 9, 2007 | 7:34 am

  15. Maricel says:

    I think these are the “runts” from a carabao mango harvest. Piko, as Millet, says have a pointed slightly upturned end and shalllower cheeks. They are preferred eaten green because they do have that round and hard “butones” or as we call them in Bulacan “peklat” when the mangoes are ripe.

    Feb 9, 2007 | 8:36 am

  16. goodtimer says:

    Yes, I was also lectured (by elders) on mango varieties, and these sure don’t look like “pico”. Millet’s right: pico mangoes have pointed ends, a curvy side, smaller and when opened, a more orange-y flesh with “butones”. The taste is different too, intensely sweet and I find it having a coconut-milk-y (like “gata”) aftertaste. Those pictured here could be “supsupins” of the carabao variety. I just got some really sweet fleshy ones along Naguillian road on the way to La Union from Baguio. They were heavenly! Had thin stones (hence fleshy cheeks) and a steal at 3 kilos for P100!

    Feb 9, 2007 | 3:21 pm

  17. ginkee reyes says:

    i think these mangoes are the “supsupin” type. many groceries carry this kind of mangoes, well, they’re ok. it’s summer once again and mangoes are really plenty, but i think mangoes are all-year round nowadays, dont u think so?

    Feb 9, 2007 | 8:34 pm

  18. letzki says:

    the mangoes pictured in your column are not “pico” but class “c” carabao mangoes (class “c” because of the taint in the skin and size of mango). normally, mangoes are classified into classes (a, b, c) before they leave the farm. class “a” being the first class. the mangoes sold at the local marker are usually the class “c” as the class “a” are for export. “pico” mangoes have pointed ends (half-moon shape) while carabao mangoes are normally with rounded ends.

    Feb 18, 2007 | 2:07 pm

  19. cavite mango grower says:

    hello mango enthusiasts!!!

    We would like to invite you all to the 9th National Mango Congress on Nov. 21-23, 2007 (next week!) in Tagaytay City, Cavite.

    If you are interested in the details of the Congress, pls email us at 9thmangocongress@gmail.com or call (02) 9065337 or text 09178175959..

    We hope to hear from you!

    K Mayuga
    Head, Secretariat

    Nov 14, 2007 | 8:26 pm

  20. lui says:

    i find the pico mango most satisfying when eaten hilaw o manibalang.with ginamos, patis or asin on the side.

    Mar 12, 2009 | 7:56 am


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