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Mangoes of The Gambia

My Magazine 2023/08
2 min
The Gambia, a small country surrounded by Senegal in West Africa, is not only famous for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture but also for its mouthwatering mangoes. Mangoes are a cherished part of Gambian cuisine and are available in a delightful array of varieties, each with unique taste and characteristics. In the local language, some of the most popular types are:

Keitt – renowned for its large size and vibrant green skin with some red undertones, the Keitt mango is incredibly juicy and has a sweet, tangy flavour. Its flesh is dense and smooth, offering a delightful burst of tropical flavours with every bite. Its appearance doesn't change much when it's ripe, so you need to check if it's ready by its softness. Keitt lasts throughout the rainy season and is available in the market for the longest period. The Keitt mango is perfect for eating fresh, using in smoothies, or adding a tropical twist to salads.

Jurr is the most common and beloved variety of mango and the most expensive. Prized for its small size and intense sweetness, the Jurr mango is a favourite among locals. Unlike Keitt, Jurr changes colour from green to yellow and has a unique aroma. Its soft, fiberless flesh is lusciously creamy and boasts a sweet and slightly tangy flavour. It's the first to hit the markets and, unfortunately, is not available for a long time. The Jurr mango is often eaten alone, but it adds a delightful sweetness to desserts, jams, and chutneys.

Tandugu is big, heavy, juicy and sweet. Its appearance is similar to Keitt's but more rounded. The difference lies in the taste. Tandugu has an intense aroma that is distinct from other varieties of mango and is excellent when made into a pickle.

Cherry mango is small and has many fibres that can get stuck between your teeth. It is orange when ripe but reddish green when still hard. Cherry mango is not as sweet as other types mentioned but is the sweetest among small mangoes.

Lamen is middle-sized but cannot be eaten raw as it is sour. From green, it turns to dark orange or even red and tastes very sweet when completely ripe.

Yet another variety is Hadon, which is the size of Satsuma tangerines. They are very sweet and juicy.

Raw mango is only suited for some as the sourness can be much. Raw Keitt and Jurr mangoes are very popular in The Gambia as they are consumed with salt and pepper to balance the sourness.

So, if you find yourself in The Gambia during the mango season, indulge in the country's rich variety of mangoes. These tropical gems promise a tantalizing burst of flavour and an unforgettable culinary experience that is uniquely Gambian.

This article is proudly sponsored by APS International.

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