Spoiler alert: there’s no groundbreaking culinary masterpiece or scientific theory below. There’s no complicated steps or even a process to follow. It’s kind of a ridiculous post, but I love this snack so much that I have to share it with you. You might already be familiar with the concept; if so, it’s because I totally jacked it from the fruit vendors in Mexico.
Sold in cups from a street cart on wheels, chunks of fresh fruit like mango, watermelon, and papaya, sometimes cucumber and jicama, are doused with lime juice and sprinkled with salt and chile pepper. They offer a cooling respite from the heat and, in my opinion, help to offset the tequila and tacos al pastor. Mmmmm tacos…
I recently bought a huge case of my favorite fruit, Ataulfo or Champagne mangoes at the produce stand. Bright golden yellow, they were starting to wrinkle and were a little sticky, perfectly ripe but turning fast.
Feeling the pressure to use them up quick, I happily infused my diet with fresh mangoes. I ate one plain and then a few chopped into yogurt. I blitzed them into thick smoothies with tangy buttermilk and fresh turmeric, and stir fried them with vegetables and sambal ooelek for lunch.
But where they really shone was snack time; soon they started to get so ripe and custardy that I could eat them like an avocado, right out of the skin. I cut away the fleshy halves on either side of the flat pit and started tinkering. I sprinkled on kosher salt, cinnamon, cayenne and toasted coconut. I dusted them with hemp seeds and tart, citrusy sumac. I squeezed on fresh lime juice, crunchy chia seeds and smoky chipotle powder. It was revelatory.
What did this little mango rampage over the last few days teach me? Firstly, that salted, spiced fruit makes the perfect afternoon snack. Also, that cayenne pepper makes a surprisingly effective caffeine replacement at 3pm. But mostly, that I just want to go to Mexico and lay on the beach and eat tacos and drink tequila. *Sigh*
Salty Spiced & Seeded Mango Snacks
If your mango isn’t super ripe, but still gives a little when squeezed, you can peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut the fruit off in chunks and dice it before seasoning.
1 very ripe ataulfo mango
Fresh lime juice
Spices like cinnamon, cayenne, sumac, or cumin
Seeds like hemp, chia, sesame, or poppy
Chopped, fresh cilantro
Toasted nuts or coconut
Cut the wide, flat sides of the mango away from the pit. Eat off any flesh attached to the pit and throw away.
Sprinkle the salt, lime juice and any desired seasonings, seeds or toppings. Scoop the fruit out of the skin with a spoon to eat.