This mango sauce is a great topping for mango chia pudding, pound cakes, fruit salads, and ice cream. Many countries incorporate mangoes in various savory dishes such as salsas, salads, and chutney. Some countries substitute mangoes for avocados when preparing California rolls. Mangoes are creamy and add a nice sweetness to the rolls. The recipe for this mango sauce was used on top of hako sushi (Osaka’s boxed style sushi) on the image above. The incorporation of lime juice to this mango sauce prevents discoloration and adds a subtle citrus touch. You can omit the sweetener agent if you prefer, as ripe mangoes are often sweet.
This versatile sauce also can be used as a base for a delicious mango popsicle. Just fill up popsicle molds with the mango sauce and voilà! If you do not have popsicle molds, you can use small disposable paper or plastic cups and add a wooden stick. However, omitting the sugar, honey or other sweetener of your choice from this mango sauce when preparing a frozen treat can make it quite bland – especially for those with a sweet tooth – and this blandness can be explained by a bit of food science.
A bit of food science:
For food scientists it is a common knowledge that the temperature range of foods and fluids can affect the intensity of some primary tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). For instance, sugary foods and fluids seems sweeter at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures.
This effect was be better described by a group of scientists from Katholieke University (Leuven, Belgium). They have detected that some cation channels – called TRPM5 – in our taste buds play a key role in the perception of sweet, umami and bitter tastes. TRPM5 are heat-activated channels and are extremely sensitive to variations in temperature. The reaction of TRPM5 in our taste buds is stronger when the temperature of sweet foods and fluids are higher. A good example of this is our experience with ice cream. Ice cream does not taste as sweet when frozen, but becomes sweeter as it melts in the mouth. If by accident, ice cream completely melts before consuming it, it will taste extremely sweet. This same effect also happens with foods and fluids which are bitter, the higher the temperature the bitter the taste, for instance think about the difference in taste of cold versus a at room temperature beer.*
As you can imagine, to make ice cream taste sweet, ice cream makers use loads of sugar to compensate for this effect. For this reason, I prefer making my own popsicles so I can reduce the amount of added sugars in my diet and still enjoy a frozen treat. Understanding the science behind the foods I like, empower me to make choices that can positively impact my health and of my family.
- 1 ripe mango (peeled and cut into cubes)
- 1 Tbsp of lime juice
- 1 tsp of superfine sugar or honey
- In a blender or food processor, purée the mango cubes and the remaining ingredients until reaching a creamy and smooth texture.
- Pass the mango mixture into a fine sieve for an extra smooth texture.
- Sauce can be kept for 2 to 3 days into an air tight container under refrigeration.
Nature 438, 1022-1025 (15 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/nature04248; Received 29 July 2005; Accepted 15 September 2005