It’s Indian mango season. The season I look forward to the most. The season that makes me salivate the most. The season I never tire of because I could eat my bodyweight in Indian mangoes and then perhaps your body weight too! They are beloved in my household and we usually buy dozens of boxes at this time of year.
But sadly this year I will miss the mango bartering on the streets of Wembley and Kingsbury. I’ll no longer be watching prices drop every week and seeking out the best ‘mango-walla’ to buy from. I will not be able to buy any mangoes at all, let alone boxfuls, because the EU ban on Indian mangoes has now come into effect.
Why? Why? Why?
The ban is due to a fruit fly found on some of the imported mangoes that could potentially devastate the UK’s salad crops. There is no evidence of this proposed impact and there have apparently been no incidences with DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) finding pests with any of the thousands of mangoes imported this year. Indeed campaigners proposed a heat treatment recognised in the US which may slow trade down but at least enable trade to continue. Sadly they lost their battle and we have lost our beloved Indian mango time.
Best eaten as they are….
Mango time in our house is simple. We go into the garden, grab a washed mango, peel the skin off and eat the flesh. Mango juice streams down our chins but this is part of our ritual. We get it on our noses and our clothes and with much fond annoyance we reach for the kitchen roll we always forget to bring out dripping juice all over the clean floor.
…But alas some alternatives must be sought
It’s not all bad news because we are still able to buy tins of Indian mango purée and enjoy this (from the tin) or use it in a myriad of different dishes. I wanted the intense mango hit and so decided to give Mango Fruit Leather a try.
It was incredibly easy. I simply spread it out on a reusable baking sheet and popped it into a 70C oven for about 2 hours. I did a second batch with a different type of mango purée and it didn’t work as well so here are some tips:
- If your purée is too thick add a tiny bit of water a little at a time until it pours vs plops.
- If your purée is too thin mix it with some mashed banana or add some ground flax seeds to make it a bit denser. Or pop it onto a muslin cloth and hang it up for a couple of hours for the water to drain out a little.
- If your purée is a little tart add a little apple sauce or purée to even out the sweetness.
Mango and Cardamom Fruit Leather
One of my favourite sprinkles on a fresh mango is freshly ground cardamom. It smells amazing but also tastes spectacular. So I sprinkled a tiny amount over my fruit leather before popping it in the oven. Red chilli powder also worked well. I would also like to try some shredded coconut or poppy seeds to give it a different texture.
As for the ban on mangoes, I am secretly hoping there will be a booming black market!
What’s your view on bans like this? What impact do you see on the whole supply chain? Is it fair to the farmers growing the crop in the first place? Will they even get paid?
- Export ban gives Indians a taste of the best mangos (thetimes.co.uk)
- Bitter times for traders as EU bans Indian mangos (thetimes.co.uk)
- Indian mango ban comes into force (bbc.co.uk)
- No mangoes? No way! (greatbritishchefs.com