Mangoes are a versatile fruit that add a pop of sweetness to savoury dishes and are perfect for Mexican recipes.
Many foods are delicious. Some invite cravings and a few inspire passion. In traditional Mexican cuisine, one surprising ingredient embodies all three: the mango.
In Mexico, it’s common for people to eat mangoes every day, not only for their deliciously juicy flavour but also for the health benefits they provide. One cup of mango contains 100 calories and a full day’s worth of vitamin C, along with vitamin A, fibre and more than 20 other vitamins and minerals while excluding cholesterol, sodium and fat.
In fact, for many Mexicans, mangoes are as basic to taste memories as dates are to those of us born in GCC countries.
“I remember mangoes practically from my birth,” says Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, chef at Azul Restaurantes in Mexico City. “I’m originally from Tabasco and Veracruz, in the southeastern part of Mexico; two of the leading states for growing and eating mangoes. I’ve always been surrounded by them ever since I was a kid so the mango is the first fruit I really remember.”
Some mangoes are so tender they are difficult to eat except out of hand but the golden Ataulfo mango has a creamy texture. It is often described as “buttery”, and it holds up well to slicing or dicing. Its smooth, almost avocado-like texture and mildly tart sweetness make it adaptable to many cuisines, providing a complement to the spice and complexity of Mexican food.
Mango salsa or mango guacamole is great with chicken and fish and other meats. Mango slices balance out the starch of rice, beans and corn, and the simple flavour combination of mangoes, chillies, limes and salt is iconically Mexican.
In this tropical take on guacamole, the mango’s sweetness brightens the richness of avocado. To emulate the flavour and texture of Muñoz Zurita’s recipe, use caution when mashing the fruits to maintain bite-size cubes of creamy mango and avocado.
Find more mouthwatering, Mexican-inspired dishes to at mango.org.
* Family Features
Recipe courtesy of Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Azul Restaurantes, Mexico City