The profitability of off-season processed mangoes in Goa
The mango, often hailed as the king of fruits, is a beloved delicacy, enjoyed during its peak season. However, the idea of enjoying mango-based products during the monsoon season has piqued the interest of many.
Mangoes are not only delicious, but also versatile, making them an ideal ingredient for a wide range of culinary creations. From appetisers to main courses, desserts and beverages, processed mangoes can be incorporated into numerous dishes, bringing a burst of tropical flavour to each bite.
Miguel Braganza, a horticulture consultant and writer, shares insights into Goa's distinctive mango processing techniques. He highlights the significance of chhepnnechem tor, which involves layering whole raw mangoes with local salt and storing them under pressure in a glazed earthen barrel.
“This preservation method allows the wrinkled fruit to be enjoyed with rice kanji or cooked rice throughout the monsoon season. Additionally, mangoes are transformed into pickles with spices and oil, preserving their flavours for consumption in the off-season,” Braganza explains.
He also mentions other Goan varieties, such as Monserrate Branca or Bardez Mussorad, which are preferred for making mango preserves, jams and squash.
In North India, varieties like Dussheri, Langda, Chausa and Malda are popular during the June-August period and are now available in Goa during the monsoons.
Goa's culinary scene is known for its ability to blend tradition with innovation, and the monsoon season presents the perfect opportunity to explore mango fusion dishes.
Accomplished culinary experts, as well as emerging talents, are venturing into the realm of combining mangoes with various ingredients, crafting unique and delectable dishes.
"When mangoes are out of season," says Chef Syam Krishna Raj, the faculty chef at Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts, "young chefs can add value to this beloved fruit by exploring its various processed forms. They can experiment with dried mangoes, mango jams, fruit leathers and incorporate mango flavours into other dishes, unlocking a world of culinary possibilities."
Prahlad Sukhtankar, Goa Chapter Head, National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI)
He further suggests that techniques such as fermentation and pickling can enhance the uniqueness of their creations.
Prahlad Sukhtankar, Goa Chapter head of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), addresses the profitability of mango processing for restaurants during the off-season.
He states, “Processing mangoes could indeed be profitable, but it largely depends on the demand for mango-based products throughout the year.” He acknowledges that quality-conscious consumers tend to prefer indulging in mango dishes during the mango season rather than year-round.
In terms of preserving mangoes for extended periods, Prahlad recommends several techniques. One method involves creating purees that can be frozen and subsequently used for baking desserts or making cocktails.
Additionally, he highlights the possibility of fermenting and maturing raw and ripe mangoes, resulting in unique flavours without the need for additional preservatives like sugar.
Traditional preservation methods such as jams, pickles and dehydration can also be employed to create a variety of textures, enabling consumption of mangoes during the off-season, he says.
The versatility of processed mangoes extends to the realm of beverages as well. Prahlad suggests that a wide range of cocktails and mocktails can be crafted using mango purees, ferments, pickles and jams.
He even shares his excitement about a drink he plans to showcase at The Black Sheep Bistro, which utilises raw mango and mango leaf puree, clarified with dairy.
Such innovative combinations highlight the potential for creating refreshing mango-based beverages that can be enjoyed regardless of the season.
While customer demand and preferences should be considered, the potential for creating frozen purees, fermented mangoes and various preserves and pickles highlights the opportunity for culinary innovation.
Whether it's a scrumptious mango-based dessert or a refreshing mango cocktail, processed mangoes provide a tantalising experience that extends beyond mango season, allowing the joy of mangoes to be experienced all year round.