Bright orange, mixed with red and finished with mango chunks, the Mangonada is a staple of summer for Mexican areas. If you’re not aware of it, imagine a crystal clear Starbucks cup dipped in the liquid chamoy- the savory condiment that is made of pickled stone fruit and packed to the top with various rounds of mango sorbet, lime and Tajin, a chili with a lime flavor. Powder that is lime-flavored. The cup is decorated with fresh mango pieces and a straw wrapped with tamarind paste, then coated with chili powder. Sweet, sweet, tart, and savory The dessert packs a highly refreshing umami-rich punch.
“It reminds me of seeing my mom sell fruit and Mangonadas in front of schools,” says Cesar Pantoja, the chef at the restaurant Raiz located in Mexico City’s chic Polanco. “Those humble beginnings were the root of my love for food. We turned it into an activity that I genuinely loved because we got quality time alone to talk, and we were preparing food for others to enjoy.”
The mixture of salt, lime, and Tajin is a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, flavoring all kinds of food, starting from pozole to Jicama. Simple businesses, such as that Pantoja discusses, depend on Tajin’s use. Sellers of fruit topped with this low-cost mix of flavors are located throughout Mexico and in U.S. cities with significant Latinx populations.
It’s a good thing too. A study from 2011 from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found new sugar receptors on the tongue that only activated in the presence of salt, which explains the reason that Mangonada’s complementing flavor profile is so appealing: The salty chamoy helps to enhance the sweetness that mango is known for instead of improving it.
The source of the Mangonada’s creation is unclear, but it’s believed to be a relic dating long past the Instagram food trend, even though it’s so Instagram-worthy and Instagrammable. Based on Marco Rodriguez, the vice president of Dulcelandia, the biggest supplier of Mexican sweets to the Midwest, Man, Canada’s increasing popularity in the U.S. can be due to the increase in cafeteria openings in 2010.
Although you’ll see Mangonadas in abundance all over Mexico and the United States, a flight, Theis optional local Mexican grocery store will probably have all the ingredients available to prepare the drinks at home.
- 2 pounds fresh mangoes
- Two large limes, juiced
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup mezcal or Tequila (optional)
- 1/2 cup chamois
- 3-4 tablespoons chile-lime salt (such as Tajin)
- Tamarind candy straws (optional)
- Peel and cut the fresh mangoes if you are using them. Add chamoy and chile-lime salt to two shallow bowls.
- Add the mangoes, lime juice, ice cubes, sugar, two cups of water, and Tequila (if you use it) into the blender. Then blend until the consistency is similar to an icy slush.
- Dip the rims of glasses in Chamoy, then the salt of chile-lime. Coat generously. Sprinkle a little Chamoy on the bottom of the glasses and around the sides.
- Fill the glasses about a third of the way full of chilled mango and ice. Add chamoy and chile salt, and then add the mango mixture. Repeat this process until the glasses are filled.
- If you are using, sprinkle with fresh mango chunks or straws of tamarind candy.