Dense, velvety sorbet to celebrate the height of Indian mango season
“They are the best mangoes,” breathes Ciara at Gelateria 3BIS, lifting the steel lid of the container and gazing at the sorbet glowing like sunshine through the icy steam rising from it. In India it’s mango season. In Italy, it’s gelato season—and in Borough Market the two unite, spanning cultures and continents to create a sorbet so, well, mango-y, it’s like Ciara has lifted the lid on a mango tree.
The mango in question is the alphonso mango—otherwise known as the king of mangos on account of its golden hue, heady richness of flavour and versatility in sweet and savoury dishes. Indians anticipate its short season eagerly, marking its arrival with festivals, parties and mango-suffused restaurant menus. The season runs from the end of April to early August, so it’s at its peak now and perfect for puréeing into sorbet. “We make it fresh here every morning,” Ciara continues. “It contains just water, a tiny bit of sugar, and the fruit.”
It’s like a honeybee has dined on the flowers of apricots, vanilla and peaches, then put its honey on ice, though not for so long that it’s hardened. There is no cream in this, but the texture is so smooth it’s almost butter—a sensation only strengthened by its fields-of-clover tones.
We paired ours with pistachio—because, pistachio—but on reflection, the pale green rather tainted its dazzling colour. If you must go double, go for the milky fior de latte gelato to create a pseudo lassi. Had we our time again—and we will, tomorrow—we’d go double mango and be done with it. As India knows well, the alphonso mango is bold and bright enough to stand alone.