Mango - food

Mango fruits are relished for their succulence, exotic flavour and sweet taste. Mostly eaten fresh, they are also sold in canned or dried forms and have found their way into an enormous range of processed foods and drinks.

Wide variety of uses

India dominates the world trade in processed mango products. Unripe and ripe they are used to flavour deserts, tenderise meats, and to make preserves, pickles, cereals, confectionery, baby foods, beverages and even vinegar.
A cake made with mango from Kew's Economic Botany Collection. It is dark with age, and has a pattern stamped on the surface.
Image: Cake made with mango, from Kew's Economic Botany Collection.

There are countless traditional recipes and methods for making mango chutneys and other dishes in South Asia. Fresh and dried, they are added to curries and savoury dishes and are pulped to make purees, deserts and sweets.

Most households prepare various mango drinks and juices, sometimes by blending with other ingredients like milk, sugar and rice. Mango squashes, juices and syrups are commercially manufactured and are on demand in the global market.

Preserves

Unripe fruits are commonly used for preserves, pickles and chutneys. They are also peeled, sliced, dried and ground to make the spice 'amchur'. This beige-coloured, fibrous powder has a sharp-tasting sour flavour and is used in condiments in a similar way to tamarind. It is added to curries, and is used to raise the acidity of preserves. The contents of mango seeds have been eaten in times of food scarcity in India. They can be roasted or boiled, or ground into flour.