Mango is one of the tropical fruits that brings me back the most
memories of my upbringing in Venezuela. It could be because of the
tall leafy mango tree in our yard that served as a meeting hub with
neighbors and friends during hot afternoons, or because mango
season is so abundant in Venezuela that you would get offered all sorts
of mango flavor delicacies everywhere: Mango juice, mango salad,
mango smoothie, mango sprinkled with salt, and my most favorite
Jalea de Mango.
Jalea de Mango is an extremely popular and traditional sweet
throughout the Venezuelan geography.
It is found across all the small towns in Venezuela during their season.
The well-known and exquisite mango jelly is made with green
mangoes. Its delicate texture is bright and yellow in color, its flavor is a
combination of sour and sweet that makes it very palatable.
I learned how to make the sweet treat in my teenage years from one of
my life friends and mentor, Celina. She is no longer with us, but her
legacy will live with me through all the things she taught me, not only in
the kitchen but also during the afternoon walks through her yard filled
with all sorts of fruit trees and flower plants. Visiting her and learning
every bit I could from every tree in her yard will always be some of my
fondest memories of going back home.
3 green mangoes, fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cup of sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
In a medium pot, add the unpeeled green mangoes, cover with water,
and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until the peel cracks and
the flesh are cooked. About 35 minutes. Remove mangoes from the
water and let cool.
When safe to touch, peel the mangoes and with a spoon remove the
cooked flesh from the pit. Pass the flesh through a sieve to end up with
a smooth mango paste.
In a medium pot, add strained mango flesh, sugar, and lemon zest.
Cook on medium heat stirring continuously with a wooden spoon for
about 25-30 minutes or until the mixture starts to separate easily from
the bottom and sides of the pot. Remove from the heat and
immediately pour into a glass container, previously moistened with
water, level the surface with the back of a spoon, and tap against the
counter to eliminate air bubbles. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
To serve it can be spooned out or cut in small serving portions. Enjoy!
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