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I have been making spiced dried mangoes lately by purchasing a package of dried mangoes, placing them into a bowl, splashing some lime juice on them, and then adding paprika, cayenne, ancho, and crushed red pepper.

While the process works nicely to get the spice in place, the acidity of the lime seems to rehydrate the mango pretty thoroughly. I have tried using as minimal of an amount as possible, but it doesn't seem to matter much if I drench it or use it sparingly.

Once the process is complete, I will leave the mangoes out in the open, however it can take several days for them to gain rigidity and stop being sticky to the touch from the lime juice.

How can I speed up the process of getting them back to the similar dried fruit nature they were when I purchased them without losing the new flavors?

  • I wonder whether adding lime crystals (e.g. "True Lime") might give the same hit of acidity while circumventing the moisture problem. (I've used the lemon version in water a few times, and it tastes about right, but can't vouch for the lime version...) – Erica Jan 23 '15 at 22:00
  • @Erica - The lime juice also doubles over as a way to ensure that the spices stick to the mango. The dried mango is fairly, well, dry :) and without some sort of binding agent the spices just fall off. – Travis J Jan 23 '15 at 22:07
  • Good point, and I suspected that might be the case -- that's why I went with comment, not answer :D – Erica Jan 23 '15 at 22:08
  • The obvious thing to try would be a food dehydrator. – derobert Jan 23 '15 at 22:29
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Doug has the right idea, but ovens trap the moisture, increasing the humidity around the food, decreasing the efficiency of the oven as a drying machine.

For detailed information regarding the physics of drying foodstuffs, I found the following helpful: http://www.nzifst.org.nz/unitoperations/drying1.htm

From these ideas, I would suggest placing the mangoes in a dry ventilated room, with some sort of heat source applied (doesn't have to be much). The combination of the dry air and the heat will speed the evaporation.

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I'd just use an oven on its lowest setting.

At work we dry food out in the plate warming cupboard but if you are doing this at home I don't suppose you'll have one...

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