A full-flavoured condiment with bags of personality
“It’s best described as a tribute to Bob Marley, referencing one of my favourite songs, Natty Dread,” says Dawn Smith of the rich, fruity mango natty sauce sold at her stall, Pimento Hill. “Marrying the familiar with the unfamiliar; the fruit with a strange Jamaican idiom. I thought it would be a wonderful idea to create a sauce that would connect with the reggae-loving, spice-eating foodie who loves to experiment with flavours!”
Mango natty, like everything else at Pimento Hill, is handmade by Dawn in her kitchen using fresh ingredients. “Nothing is artificial,” she continues. “I get most of my ingredients from local suppliers—except the mangoes, naturally, and spices like the pimento berry. They’re sourced from Jamaica, because the best berries come from St Mary”—the parish where Dawn grew up, watching her grandmother cook traditional Jamaican dishes and sweets at her shop near the hill from which the stall gets its moniker.
The sauce is smooth and mellow, knotted with mango and laced with ginger, garlic and a hint of the fearsome scotch bonnet chilli—a mandatory component of Jamaican cooking.
“You can use mango natty in just about anything,” Dawn continues. “You can stir it into or drizzle it on top of your favourite dishes, or just have it as a dip. It’s really great with salads, or use it to add instant flavour to chicken, pasta, desserts—even meat stews and casseroles.”
Mango natty might be straightforward to use, but its preparation requires patience. “Peeling mangoes is not everyone’s idea of fun, but that’s how it all starts,” Dawn explains, “followed by chopping and slowly cooking the fruit on a low to medium flame. Adding the spice blend early ensures that the flavours are balanced throughout.” It’s then a case of waiting, constantly checking for consistency, taste, and adjusting spices accordingly. “The important thing is to ensure that you have the best quality ingredients to start with,” Dawn implores. “The rest is easy.”