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Highlighting Mango After Summertime Fades

This bright, tropical fruit shines on fall and winter menus
Photograph: Shutterstock

Mango may often be thought of as a summer indulgence—with flavors that complement an array of food and drinks, and warm-weather menus play a part in its popularity. But when summertime fades into fall, there’s no reason to take mangos off the menu. Rather, operators can innovate and leverage the versatility of the world’s most popular fruit on fall and winter seasonal offerings, as well as using cooking techniques that reflect the changing seasons to highlight the unique flavor and global appeal of mangos.

Seasonality

Seasonal limited time offers (LTOs) are a great way for restaurants to get both existing and new customers excited about coming in. Whether it’s because the LTO includes ingredients the customer loves or the limited-time availability piques their interest, one thing’s for sure, diners love seasonal specials. When menuing a fall- or winter-themed dish with mango, be sure to include mentions of it being a seasonal offering in the description.

Savory and Sweet

With flavors from sweet to tart to slightly spicy and textures from crisp to smooth to fibrous, there’s a place for mangos in savory and sweet dishes. Pairing mango with other seasonal ingredients, like apples, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pecans can help bump up the seasonal appeal of certain dishes. For instance, Old Ebbitt Grill added a dish to its menu in fall 2018 called the Curry Lentil Burger, which was topped with spicy apple slaw and mango chutney on a whole-grain Kaiser roll and served with a choice of french fries, fruit or a salad. With rich spiced mango chutney and bright apple flavors, this fall dish was perfect for attracting diners who wanted to try something new.

On the beverage side of things, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina introduced an LTO featuring Mango Lime Aguas Frescas in fall 2018. Described as “a light, non-alcoholic beverage with the fresh flavors of mango and lime,” this refreshing beverage was served with a lime wheel and mango chunks sprinkled with Tajin (a chile-lime seasoning blend).

Unique Cooking Techniques and Preparations

Fall flavors are known for their warmth, and part of that warmth comes from the way ingredients are prepared. For instance, baked apples, caramelized squash and other comforting flavors are no strangers to menus during colder months. There’s no reason restaurants can’t include mango in those warm and unique preparations. For instance, offer a tarte tatin made with mangos instead of apples, for a delicious caramelized mango twist on a classic dessert. Or, give holiday menus a facelift—skewer a mango cube on top of chipotle mango meatballs, for a sweet and spicy shared or passed appetizer tray.

Mango no longer has to be stuck on summer menus. Mangos are in season year-round, plus trendy preparation methods and ingredient pairings means this fruit is ready for primetime.

This post is sponsored by National Mango Board

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