Mangonada, also known as chamango or chamoyada, is a traditional and popular Mexican frozen dessert offered at street food stalls, local markets, and ice cream shops across Mexico.
The name itself is derived from its primary ingredient: mango. The frozen mango treat showcases the combination of sweet, tangy and spicy elements in one delightful treat. While the mangonada’s origins are unknown, it has become increasingly popular beyond Mexico’s borders, especially in the United States. With its vibrant orange color, red swirls, and its unique mix of flavors, the mangonada is more than just a dessert or refreshing drink.
Each ingredient in a mangonanda plays a crucial role in achieving the dessert’s characteristic balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. A mangonada is made with diced mangoes, mango sorbet or ice, chamoy sauce, fresh lime juice and chili powder, which is blended into a smoothie consistency. It’s typically garnished with a tamarind straw and served in a glass coated with more chili powder.
The addition of chamoy is what sets this Mexican dessert apart. Chamoy is a popular condiment made from dehydrated fruit such as apricot, mango or plums, chili powder, salt, sugar, and a little citrus juice. Chamoy has a spicy, sweet and tangy flavor that makes it popular for topping fresh fruit, mixing into cocktails, and glazing meats.
A mangonada is typically mild in spice. However, depending on the spice level and the amount of chamoy used, a mangonada can be made spicy. This drink can be easily customized with other flavors or to make it as mild or spicy as you’d like it to be by controlling the amount of chamoy and chili-lime salt seasoning used. The mangonada is dairy-free and can be made vegan, making it a suitable choice for those with lactose intolerance or those following a vegan diet. Mangonadas can also be made kid-friendly without alcohol or can be mixed with spirits such as rum, tequila or mezcal.
The unique flavors of a mangonada make this treat fall somewhere between a refreshing drink and a satisfying dessert. With the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, savory, juicy and spicy elements, mangonada is enjoyed by many in the hot summer months especially, with flavors that are a true reflection of Mexico’s rich culinary culture.