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Season's eatings: mango roses with chilli, lime and salt

In the first of a new fortnightly series featuring Australian seasonal recipes, a savoury Mexican kick brings out the sweetness of a fruit that evokes Queensland childhood summers

Words by Romy Ash; recipe by Sarah Trotter and Romy Ash; pictures by Lauren Bamfordwith styling by Sarah Trotter

Monday 3 February 2014 22.11 EST


Mango rose: a pretty and delicious dessert with an extra chilli heat Photograph: Lauren Bamford

A box of mangoes is always a summer treat. Right now they’re as reasonably priced as they are going to get, and the scent of them fills the local greengrocer's. There are boxes of cheap overripe mangoes too, which are still delicious but should be kept for something like a mango lassi or a smoothie. You can’t make this recipe with an overripe mango.

When selecting your mango it should be ripe but still firm. Choose one that is plump, firm and smells delicious. 

Pick up the mango, press it gently. It should give a little but not too much; make sure it smells good. Queensland mangoes taste the best, and Bowen mangoes (sometimes called Kensington Pride) are our favourites. They have to travel to get to where we live in Melbourne, but if you live in QLD or northern NSW there will be roadside stalls blushing with boxes of mangoes, straight from the orchards.

My family always had a Bowen mango tree in the yard, and as a child my favourite thing was simply to eat a cheek, sliced and opened out into what my mum called an echidna back. 

The mango rose recipe isn’t so far from that; it’s so simple – except the lime, salt and chilli flavours were undreamed of in my rural small town.

The flavours might be surprising here, but this is common Mexican street food. 

The taste is incredibly bright, and the savoury flavours only serve to bring out the best of the sweet mango. 

Perfect for a sweltering day, as an afternoon treat or a cool desert (if the mangoes are kept in the fridge before cutting). 

They would be beautiful for a celebration too – they’re too pretty to keep to yourself.

Mango roses with chilli, lime and salt


First peel your mango, and add a stick to hold it. Photograph: Lauren Bamford. Styling: Sarah Trotter


Next make incisions in the fruit to make the petals of your rose. Photograph: Lauren Bamford. Styling: Sarah Trotter


As you continue, the flower will continue to take shape. Photograph: Lauren Bamford. Styling: Sarah Trotter

Ingredients for four

4 Bowen mangoes
2 limes, cut off the cheeks to squeeze
a pinch of chilli powder (per mango)
a pinch of sea salt (per mango)
4 wooden chopsticks


Hold the mango in the palm of your hand and insert a chopstick at the place where the stem was attached. This is easier than it sounds.

Hold the mango firmly and peel using a sharp knife. Your hands might get a little slippery, so be careful.

When the mango is peeled, cut a series of incisions from the stem end up. It’s a little hard to describe, so please use the pictures above as a guide.

Pull the segments out a little so they resemble petals, and the mango a rose. Set aside and cut the next three mangoes.

Squeeze the lime over the mango roses, then sprinkle with a little chilli and salt. Serve immediately.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…