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Simply the best dried mangoes in the world

Published on Jun 6, 2023 (Updated on May 20, 2024)
Simplement les meilleures mangues séchées du monde

Umano has received a new shipment of organic, fair trade dried mangoes from Burkina Faso. Discover the history of these incomparable mangoes!

Africa is often perceived as the continent where all calamities strike. At Umano, we know on the contrary that it is a continent with incredible potential, which is full of talent and energy. The majority of partners with whom we build links come from different West African countries. They supply Umano with shea butter, baobab powder and cashew nuts.

But there is one product on which we concentrate our efforts: the Amélie mango! Since the creation of Umano in 2017, one of our objectives (almost an obsession!) is to introduce the Quebec population to the best mangoes in the world, the result of the know-how and unique terroir of Burkina Faso.

In spring 2017, Christian, the founder of Umano, went to meet producer groups and drying cooperatives in the Cascades and Hauts-Bassins regions of Burkina. We have brought back several samples and a documentary recounting discussions with some of these producers . Small orders had been concluded, but we had not yet found the producer and the product meeting all our criteria.

Three years have passed since this stay, and after numerous exchanges with Coopake, already a supplier of our organic and fair trade cashews, the hoped-for result has finally been achieved!

2020, African resilience

In Burkina, the “mango rain” is a moment of joy. This festival marks the return of the rainy season and the arrival of fresh, ripe mangoes. In this spring of 2020, the mango rain was discreet, production was low and the harvest was limited by the pandemic context.

However, despite these obstacles and despite the health disaster announced by the WHO for the continent, the Burkinabè quickly made the right decisions in the face of this crisis. Thus, Coopake was able to produce dried mangoes from mid-May until the end of June.

In the spirit of fair and supportive trade, Umano has placed all its trust in Coopake by sending the funds necessary for production in this uncertain context. At the beginning of July, the production took the road, then the sea, arriving a few weeks later in Quebec.

The production of dried mangoes at Coopake

The fruits are provided by members of the cooperative and processed on site. The staff of the processing unit, mainly women, are mostly members of the coop or their relatives. The fruits transported from members' orchards then ripen in 2 to 4 days. Once the mangoes are ready, the staff washes, peels and slices them before placing them on racks.

Dried mango cup
Drying is carried out in “Atesta” type ovens running on gas. It is a simple and effective technology, developed and improved within the framework of cooperation programs over several decades. The Atesta oven would “improve the financial situation and living conditions of women's groups, cooperatives and private dryers[1]”.

Amélie and Brooks to vary the pleasures

Three or four varieties of mangoes are grown in Burkina for commercial purposes. Our favorite is Amélie, an early variety, so a little less sweet, but very rich in flavor. But to satisfy those with a sweeter tooth, we also ordered a small quantity of the Brooks variety, whose sweetness evokes candied fruit.

The container arrived in Sherbrooke on August 25. I immediately opened a bag of each kind to give a snack to the team and friends who unloaded the cargo. Everyone has their preference, but the comments are unanimous: “Explosion of flavor”, “Full flavor”, “The best dried fruits I have eaten in a long time”…

Now it's up to you to make up your mind!

[1] According to the Albert Schweitzer Ecological Center which offers a tutorial on Low-tech Lab.