Nothing screams tropical breeze like a naturally yellow and sweet mango jam that will give you a burst of sunshine. Mango jams are one of the best, seasonal jams that artisan makers take pride in. It’s supposed to be a celebration of the sweetness of sun-kissed mangoes organically grown in mango orchards, sans chemicals, and other preservatives.
It’s a joy to eat mango jam especially when you have it for breakfast or brunch, it will surely give you a delightful morning. There seems to be no reason why anyone will hate mango jam. Unless that person generally hates mangoes.
Mango Jam Trivia
- It is said that Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world, and is one of the most commonly sold fruits in the US.
- Cashew nuts, pistachio nuts, and mangoes are botanically related by belonging to the Anacardiaceae family.
- Is there anyone who hates mangoes? While it may seem weird, some people hate mangoes because of their smell, the mess they create, their texture, and the smell that is difficult to wash out even after eating them.
- Are there people who are allergic to mangoes? Yes. Some people get rashes once they are exposed to mango peels, but they can still eat mangoes.
Mango Jam Buying Guide
Mango jams are both available as commercialized products or homemade treats in Texas. You can purchase the products at Walmart, Costco, or Target. Mango jams can also be labeled and sold as “sugar-free” or “low-sugar,” or even “no pectin added. However, that’s not always the case. Most of the commercially produced mango jams are added with preservatives and chemicals that will affect their textures and tastes.
Artisan-produced mango jams are better in terms of texture, flavor, and color. The best mango jams contain both fruit juices and pulp. Mango jams have a natural smell, flavor, and have are great for eating and gifting.
Mango Jam Production & Farming in Texas
Mangoes can be tricky to grow in Texas because of the weather. As tropical trees, mangoes prefer State with lots of sunshine and fewer cold winters. However, mango tree varieties such as Kent and Keitt, Irwin, Tommy Atkins, and Haden can be grown and produced in Texas according to the months and seasons. June is the best month to grow Tommy Atkins, Haden, and Irwin; July is the best fruit production season for Kent, while Keitt bears fruit in August.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Sugar concentrates and any types of sugars have several functions among d and preserves. Sugars contribute to any food’s texture and mouthfeel. In the case of mango jams, some mangoes can be sour and tangy, mixing sugars will add sweetness and enhance the consistency of the jam. Sugars also act as preservatives by stabilizing the water content, especially in preserves. In this case, sugar also inhibits the growth of mold, bacteria, and yeast. Furthermore, adding more or fewer sugars would determine the viscosity of jams, jellies, and other preserves. Finally, the anticoagulant properties of sugar would ensure that jellies, jams, and other preserves would not solidify but just maintain their semi-solid and semi-liquid texture.
Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate are the most common food preservatives added to commercially manufactured foods. Both chemicals are colorless and tasteless. This is essential as some manufacturers would prefer chemicals that would not interfere with the jam’s colors and flavors. Both chemicals are relatively safe to eat if consumed minimally. However, long-term exposure to these chemicals, through the consumption of commercially prepared products, can have ill effects on a person. Potassium Sorbate harms the development of infants and children by interfering with the development of their DNA and can be harmful to people with auto-immune disorders. Meanwhile, Sodium Benzoate harms a person by aggravating inflammatory diseases and other allergies, increasing the risk of kidney problems, and contributing to several cases of diabetes, obesity, and ADHD.
Both commercially and artisan-made mango jams are sealed in sterilized glass jars to preserve their flavors, inhibit bacterial growth, and increase their shelf-life. The jars used in canning must be thoroughly inspected before usage to prevent accidents and contamination. Never use jars that have cracks anywhere or have broken and chipped components as they are no longer food-grade. Jars with rusted caps must also be rejected because the rust can spread to other parts, eventually contaminating and spoiling your jams.
Enjoying Mango Jams
Mango jam can be eaten on its own and would be a great spread in toasted bread. But it’s not recommended to pair mango jams with peanut butter as the flavors do not complement each other. Of course, there are so many other ways to eat mango jam.
Mango jams can be added to milk, creams, yogurts, and ice-creams. It can also be one of the dips available for a modern, cheese board as it pairs well with any toasted bread and crackers. You can also mix it with cottage cheese and pair it with Goat’s Cheese and Gorgonzola Cheese
For the best savory options, add it to barbecue sauces or use it as a marinade or glaze for chicken.
You probably noticed that groceries just store unopened, mango jams on their shelves without worrying about spoilage. Well, that’s a different case since commercially processed and manufactured foods are added with preservatives and chemicals. The basic rule is to store unopened jams in a cool, dry, and dark, place, without exposing them to direct sunlight.
Opened jams should be kept refrigerated and must never be left at room temperature for a long time to avoid mold and yeast infestation. When taking some jam, it’s best to only spoon adequate amounts to your bread or plate, then return the jam to the fridge. Avoid opening it often or taking it out often as it multiplies bacterial growth.
Celebrate the Mango season by making some Mango Jam.
4 cups chopped mango (from about 7 large mangoes)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
- Peel, seed and dice mangoes into 1/2 inch cubes. (Place a few small plates into the freezer at this point to use to test for gelling as the jam reaches completion.)
- Place the chopped mangoes into a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the sugar and citrus juice. Be sure that they only come 1/3rd of the way up the pot at this point to prevent overflows when the mango jam is cooking.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching or overflows.
- Boil hard for about 20 minutes until the jam begins to gel. Test for gelling on a plate that’s been chilled in the freezer, or use an instant-read thermometer to check for gel temperature (220 degrees F, or slightly lower at higher altitudes).
- Pour the jam into prepared canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, or simply store in the refrigerator for immediate use. Canned jam should last 1 year in the pantry, and refrigerator jam should last 2-3 weeks.