Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
August 23, 2022

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Tropical fruits are trending, with mango leading the pack, thanks to its ability to merge the exotic with mainstream appeal. Mango’s sweet, round flavor easily pairs with trending global flavors, while its health and freshness attributes align with consumer wellness trends. These qualities make it a valued ingredient for chefs to consider in menu development.

The five stages of fresh mango ripeness drive and dictate the culinary techniques to apply in recipe creations. Each ripeness stage has unique attributes, which chefs can accentuate for maximum effect. Mango is well known in beverages, desserts and salads, however, a big growth opportunity for operators lies in applying mango in savory applications. Here, we explore how chefs may innovate with mango across any global flavor system and any daypart.

GREEN MANGO – Stages 1, 2 and 3 (in-between stage)

The refreshing crispness and tart flavor of green mango provides an array of texture plays. Ribbons, spirals, matchsticks and grated mango offer the ideal textures here. Incorporate techniques of pickling, poaching, vacuum compressing, sous vide, grilling, charring and smoking. Use in salads, tacos, chutneys, dips and slaws.

Italy > Tropical Charcuterie Platter: Cotto salami + prosciutto + pickled green mango ribbons + goat cheese + crisp plantain strips + Pickapeppa sauce + candied papaya

India > Tandoori Chicken Fingers: Tandoori fried chicken fingers + grated green mango-cucumber raita

RIPE MANGO – Stage 4

The velvety softness, floral aromatics and sour-tinged sweetness provides balance while adding complexity to savory creations. Look to “cheeks,” chopped and sliced mango. Incorporate techniques of dehydrating, poaching, sous vide, grilling, charring and smoking. Use in stews/braises, chilis, soups, curries, rice/grains, salsas, relishes, ferments, charcuterie platters, egg dishes and spreads.

Colombia > Arepa Benedict: Griddled cornmeal cakes + charred ripe mango cheeks + shredded skirt steak + poached egg + habanero hollandaise

Caribbean > White Bean Jerk Chicken Chili:
White bean chili + shredded jerk chicken + smoked ripe mango chunks + roasted sweet potato chunks + Swiss chard leaves


The juicy smoothness and ultra-sweet flavor provide a complement to savory tastes and a booster to naturally sweet tastes. Look to mashed and puréed. Incorporate techniques of using mango nectar as a marinade or natural fruit enzyme tenderizer and the whole inner stone with pulp as a sauce infuser. Use in sauces, glazes and dressings.

Japan > Mango Pork Sando: Miso-sake-very ripe mango nectar marinated roast pork loin (thick sliced) + finely shredded green mango-white cabbage + sesame barbecue aïoli + milk bread

Mexico > Loaded Chilaquiles: Corn tortillas + salsa verde + Cotija cheese + chorizo + soft-scrambled egg + very ripe mango purée crema


Photo Credit: Smithfield Culinary

This Roasted Pork Belly with Cornmeal Porridge stars a deeply flavorful sugarcane-tamarind glaze, which features mango, soy sauce, lime, tamarind, jalapeño and pineapple.

GET THE RECIPE FOR Roasted Pork Belly with Cornmeal Porridge

About The Author

Rob Corliss

Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.