Fresh mango dishes are appearing on more and more menus in part due to the efforts of the National Mango Board’s work with foodservice operators, chefs and media to increase mango awareness.

Board pushes for more mangoes on menusThe board educates chefs, students and instructors on how to properly handle and cook with fresh mangoes. It also schedules promotions and contests to help increase mango usage in the foodservice industry, according to a news release.

“Educating the foodservice industry on how simple and fun it is to cook with mangos is key to increasing mango usage in foodservice,” Megan Mckenna, director of marketing at the board, said in the release. “We want to inspire chefs, and consequently consumers, to try mangoes in new and exciting ways; mango flavor and texture complement many menu options, the possibilities are endless!”

The board has worked with On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Red Mango frozen yogurt on promotions to encourage customers to try mango. It will track the results of the promotions; the results will be on the website when they are available. The board also works with foodservice publications to get more stories about mango in foodservice magazines and newspapers.

With the goal of inspiring chefs, the board performed in-kitchen demonatrations for restaurant chains throughout the U.S. It helped with mango education, mango menu concepts and mango recipe development. One participating restaurant was California Pizza Kitchen, which has 197 locations.

The board’s Mangover Your Menu Recipe Contest is another way it is pursuing mangos on restaurant menus. The contest challenged participants to use fresh mangoes in dishes, which were judged by a panel of foodservice professional. The winner was Chef Michael Garahan, chef consultant and child nutrition advocate. He took home the $1,500 grand prize for his Shrimp & Mango Gumbo.