I grew up watching my family members eating mangos and making a huge mess in the process.  Some varieties of Brazilian mango are so fibrous that the “correct” way to eat them is to cut a small hole in the top and suck out the juices while compressing the fruit, which leaves your mouth, face, hands, and possibly even your clothes covered with juice and sticky mango bits.  Some people view this process as part of the fun, but both me and my Dad had nothing to do with it, and only enjoyed a mango if it was laying on a pristine plate, dissected by a knife and fork, with a napkin alongside.

This simple dessert would certainly receive the seal of  approval from my Dad.

(inspired by my friend Vanda)

4 ripe mangos
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs granulated sugar (or more)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup rum (or Cointreau or a mix of both)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Cut the mango in medium-sized pieces.  Go take a quick shower (optional).  Come back and melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.   Add the diced mango, sprinkle sugar all over it, add the salt, and cook gently until the mango starts to get soft.   Taste a piece and decide if you need more sugar.

Carefully add the rum, heat it for a few seconds, and ignite with a match.  Wait until the flames die down, sprinkle a little lemon juice, taste again.   Serve over vanilla ice cream.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You can change this basic recipe in many ways.  For example, you may first caramelize the sugar, and then add the fruit on top.  But, I prefer this preparation I’m posting because it’s simpler and the taste of the fruit is more pronounced.  You may also skip the alcohol with no major harm, but I like the extra flavor it imparts.   If you have leftovers (highly unlikely), they are delicious in the morning with yogurt and a little granola sprinkled on top.   You can prepare bananas in almost exactly the same way, or even along with the mango, but when making bananas flambe, I like to caramelize the sugar first.     My friend Vanda,  who makes risottos and souffles with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back, loves to prepare mangos this way.  After dicing the fruit, she usually grabs the pit and takes great pleasure in sucking all the mango-goodness clinging to it, standing next to the sink.   Unfortunately, I never seem to have my camera ready when that happens. 😉

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  1. Wow, I just bought 2 boxes of mango, so that’s about 48 mangoes. I never cooked mango before, we just eat it fresh. Each person will have about 4 mangoes, that’s how much my family love mango. Anyway, your idea of flambeed the mango sound superb. I wonder if my family will like it? I wouldn’t know until I try, right?


    • Elra, I hope they like it… I have to say I am very fond of fruit enjoyed just like that: fresh, slightly cool, no added sugar. Plain and simple. But, every once in a while, a dress up version is nice too


  2. Great post! I just bought 4 beautiful yellow mangoes round the corner and was wondering what to do with them. We don’t usually get proper yellow mangoes, only the big red ones, which aren’t nearly as nice. To quote Haldane and his 1937 story: My Friend Mr Leakey
    “The only proper place to eat a mango is in your bath”


  3. Love the idea of eating mangoes in the bath, to me if they aren’t dripping they don’t taste as good! Love the versatility of the recipe too, thanx Sally!


    • Yeah, I know I’m in the minority, but ever since I was a young child, I was the “anti-mess” by definition. My friends would eat ice cream and have it all melting down their hands, I ate mine without allowing a single drop to “contaminate” me

      Go figure…🙂


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