Put your friers aside, preserved green tomatoes are where it’s at
After trying many sweet mango dishes in my series about how the world eats mangos, I was excited to learn about mango rayado, a savory mango snack from El Salvador. This dish was introduced to me by Liana, who was born in El Salvador, but grew up in Brussels, Belgium, and moved to different countries for most of her life.
Mango rayado is a traditional El Salvadoran street food that is typically served wrapped up in a plastic bag. Mango rayada is sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and perfect for a hot day. This snack is made from a medium-sized mango that is cut into long ribbons or twists and served with toppings such as lime or lemon juice, alguashte, hot sauce, and a brown sauce with thickened Worcestershire sauce. Alguashte is a common Salvadorian seasoning made from ground pepitas, which are pumpkin seeds. It can be found in both sweet and savory dishes. Alguashte gives foods a nutty, roasted flavor that enhances the flavors of fruit like mangos.
Since fruit trees were very common in El Salvador, and mangoes were eaten year-round, mango rayado could be found practically on every corner. In Liana’s submission, she explains that this dish is nostalgic for her since she remembers religiously eating a mango rayado every day after school. It was refreshing, and the crunchy, salty, sweet, spicy flavors would brighten up her day.
It was somewhat difficult for me to make this dish since I could not find a recipe online, but I decided to just go for it and do what I thought seemed right. I think it turned out pretty well. I was interested to see mango rayado uses Worcestershire sauce for the dish. I also discovered that El Salvador uses Worcestershire sauce in many recipes and just as a sauce for seafood. In fact, I was surprised El Salvador actually has the highest per capita consumption rate of Worcestershire sauce in the world! Mango rayado was a dish full of surprises and I am so glad to say I got a chance to try it!
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