Mango Chutney

Published May 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.

We sampled four supermarket brands to see which we liked best.

Overview:

Mango chutney (sometimes called Major Grey's chutney) is a welcome accompaniment to many curries. Classic preparations cook unripe green mangoes with sugar, vinegar, and aromatic spices. We sampled four supermarket brands to see which we liked best.

High levels of fructose corn syrup and caramel color in our first sample overshadowed any natural mango flavors, making for what testers found "sickly sweetness" and "insipid, weak" flavor. A substantial dollop of ginger oil spiced a second so heavily that tasters were torn; some appreciated the "pungent," "perfumey" zing, while others complained about the "ginger overload." Our tasters liked the balanced sweetness and acidity in the last two brands. The addition of lemon juice and peel gave one chutney a tangy boost that made it our favorite.

Mango chutney (sometimes called Major Grey's chutney) is a welcome accompaniment to many curries. Classic preparations cook unripe green mangoes with sugar, vinegar, and aromatic spices. We sampled four supermarket brands to see which we liked best.

High levels of fructose corn syrup and caramel color in our first sample overshadowed any natural mango flavors, making for what testers found "sickly sweetness" and "insipid, weak" flavor. A substantial dollop of ginger oil spiced a second so heavily that tasters were torn; some appreciated the "pungent," "perfumey" zing, while others complained about the "ginger overload." Our tasters liked the balanced sweetness and acidity in the last two brands. The addition of lemon juice and peel gave one chutney a tangy boost that made it our favorite.

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