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I lead a double "Sauced" life—on my own blog I've been doing a regular barbecue sauce review column for a couple of years now. Recently I popped open a jar of mango barbecue sauce I was excited to try, only to find something more akin to mango jelly that barbecue sauce. I channelled the disappointment this one-note sauce brought on into creating my own mango barbecue sauce the way it should be—featuring the fruit but maintaining the tangy, complex flavors of a more traditional barbecue sauces.
I started with mango, of course, using a combo of fresh mango and mango juice to form the base. Then I added some tomato sauce to put the mango in check, and built out the rest of the required sugary, tangy, and spicy notes with complementary ingredients like garlic, ginger, honey, lime juice, and habanero.
With this I achieved what I think a great fruit barbecue sauce should be. The sweet mango is front and foremost when the sauce first hits the tongue. Then comes in a vinegar tang mixed with hints of garlic, ginger, and more, giving the sauce a nice depth. Finally, the burn of habanero settles in, creating the spicy finale the way I like it and bringing full circle all the flavors you want in a sauce labeled "barbecue."