Nicknamed the king of fruits, mangoes are prized for their sweet flavor and succulent texture. This tropical fruit is extremely versatile and can be incorporated in both sweet and savory dishes.
Taste and Texture of Mango
Because there is such a diverse range of mango varieties, it’s difficult to pin down a specific flavor profile for the fruit. But generally, the flavor of mango is reminiscent of guava with the sweetness of peaches and the freshness of pineapple. Their sweetness level ranges from mild to very sweet, sometimes coupled with an acidic tartness.
Mangoes have smooth matte skin and juicy flesh that feels like a creamy jelly. They can be a little more fibrous or pulpy depending on the variety. In the center of the fruit is a large flat seed covered with fibers.
How to Choose Mango
Ripe mangoes should feel soft when pressed, but not mushy. The skin should be clear of any bruising or tears. Depending on their variety, it can range from golden yellow to ruby red.
If you want a truly sweet mango, use your nose. Sweet mangoes will have a noticeable fruity aroma near the stem. It should smell sweet without any bitter or alcoholic undertones.
Use Mango in Your Cooking
Mango pairs naturally well with most fruits. Try it with tropical fruits, berries, and citrus in desserts and drinks. Mangoes generally aren’t baked as they lose a lot of their silky texture and juiciness with heat. Instead, layer fresh mango slices over whipped cream or fold pureed mango into a chilled tart filling. Try swapping mangoes for strawberries in our Cardamom Scone recipe or serving them alongside our Flourless Chocolate Cake to add some sweet, tropical notes to the bitter chocolate.
Although mangoes are sweet, they are just as delicious in savory dishes as they are in desserts. Use mango to make a fresh summer salsa or vibrant mango chutney to serve alongside your mains. You can also add mango to marinades for a pop of sweet tropical flavor in grilled or roasted meats. Try our recipe for Thai Chicken Salad, which features thinly sliced mango alongside cabbage, carrot, mint, and cilantro. If you want to bring the juicy flavor of mangoes without adding too much sweetness, choose under ripe mangoes (aka green mangoes) for a milder flavor and more tang. Green mangoes are especially great for salads, chutneys, or pickling.