Sweet and sour are perfectly combined in this Honduran dessert. Mango Verde en Miel, or green mango in honey, was a childhood favorite of Genesis who was kind enough to share this recipe as part of my latest mango series. Interestingly enough, this recipe shows off the unique flavor of green mangoes, aka unripe mangoes.
Mangoes (both ripe and unripe) can be found all over Honduras, according to Genesis. However, she and her siblings would usually harvest them from their backyard during the spring mango season. Their mangoes were used by their mother for an afternoon helping of Mango Verde en Miel. Although this recipe traditionally calls for yellow, ripe mangoes, Genesis’ family always used unripe mangoes. Yellow mangoes have that signature sweet flavor, but green mangoes have a unique sourness that adds an extra punch to the dish. And unripe mangoes aren’t the only twist with this recipe.
Even though the dish translates to, “green mango in honey,” there’s actually no honey involved. At least not in this version. In other parts of Latin America, like El Salvador, honey is often the sweetener of choice, but Genesis’ version calls for panela. Also known as panocha or piloncillo, panela is a type of raw, pure, cane sugar. It comes in hardened discs or cones and has a similar flavor to molasses. Its spiced, almost smoky flavor can be found in tons of Latin America recipes, like Mango Verde en Miel.
For this mango recipe, panela is mixed with water and spices to form a rich syrup. The green mangoes are then boiled in the syrup, so they can soak up all of that delicious flavor. The result is a soft textured mango that’s sour taste is balanced out by a sugary, spicy sauce. Throughout Honduras and other parts of Latin America, Mango Verde en Viel is usually enjoyed as a special dish on holidays. But I say we all follow Genesis’ family’s approach and enjoy Mango Verde en Viel a bit more regularly. Try it as an afternoon dessert when you’re in the mood for something sweet, sour, and indulgent.
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