Mangue Verte

Mangue Verte

Mangue verte (green mango) has more in common with
potato chips than yellow mangoes. On a hot day, it proves
a refreshing combination of salty, crunchy and tart.

Mangue verte may have evolved from buggai, a spicy green mango chutney. It’s served with thieboudjenne, the national lunch, and the communal bowl in which it’s served is cordially fought over. It may also have travelled up from Guinea-Bissau or Senegal’s Casamance region, famous for having the best mangoes. There, green-mango juice is made by sun-drying the unripe fruit for three days, then boiling it and adding sugar.

You’ll need
1 green mango
½ small lime (optional)
salt or a crushed Jumbo (a
kind of MSG stock cube) or
other stock cube
chilli powder

Cooking Method
1 Peel the mango, then slice it.
2 Squirt a bit of lime juice on to the fruit if you like it tangy, and toss.
3 Sprinkle over the crushed stock cube, salt and chilli to taste.

Tasting notes
Green-mango season coincides with Senegal’s hottest period of year, so it is a time of bittersweet anticipation. It’s sunny, the air is dry, and everyone is walking more slowly. Even the women who sell mangues vertes, their hair tied up in colourful scarves, prepare the snack at a sedate pace, slicing the mango of your choosing into a bag and shaking it up with the toppings. The mango is hard as an apple, and the first taste is salty and crunchy, followed by the bite of the chilli, but then the mango comes through, its sweetness just a glimmer and its sourness a fruity kick – a burst of energy on a hot day.

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