I am assuming that green mango shakes were invented in the Philippines. The same way I think kamias shakes must also be a local innovation. But I am not sure; these could have been influenced by fruit shakes elsewhere on the planet and we can’t claim to have invented them. Nevertheless, green mango shakes were a novelty when I was a teenager, and since I loved sour flavors, I ordered them often. I knew a lot of people who ordered them thinking they were drinking something very healthy and low in sugar (probably masked by the acid tart green mangoes). Over the years, I veered away from the incredibly tart shakes though I always managed to have one or two per annum. Lately, the versions I have tasted have either been curiously milky or creamy (Wysgal suggests it might be due to the addition of some powdered milk!?), too watery, lacking in any distinct green mango flavor or excessively sweet. So I thought, “how hard can it be to make a decent green mango shake?”
Actually, it wasn’t so simple to do. I had several attempts with mediocre results. To reduce the amount of added simple sugar syrup, I tried to start with a semi-ripe mango, still very sour but starting to turn yellow. A whole large mango into the blender, ice, some water and some sugar syrup. The result was a creamier, more opaque shake. I’m not sure if it was the quality of the mango, but the shake seemed murky or sappy. It was tart but not sharply so; refreshing but not memorable. I tried another shake with half of a very green mango and not as much sugar syrup and it came out watery and diluted; unappealing actually. Finally, I made a shake with one whole extremely green mango, lots of ice, very little water and several tablespoons of sugar syrup (maybe 5 tbsps or more!) and this came out close to what I recall of the first few shakes I had ever tasted. This was redolent with green mango flavor but not painfully tart. The tons of sugar syrup tempered the acidity but wasn’t cloyingly sweet to the tastebuds. But it did bother me how much sugar it took to get this drink to taste “right.” I rimmed the glass with fine salt and that actually made the drink more interesting for me. And as a last thought, I made a mental note to try rimming the glass with plum powder the next time around…sort of a green mango and champoy/kiamoy hit…now THAT is nostalgic comfort food, if you ask me!
Still thirsty for more fruit shakes or smoothies? Check out some of these earlier posts…
Pakwan or Watermelon Shakes
Blackberry & Whey Smoothies
Ripe mango Shakes
Plum & Grape Shakes – superb!