The African Mango (Bush Mango) Kernels comes from an African tree called Irvingia Gabonensis. Irvingia Gabonensis bears a fruit that looks like a mango. The fruit, which is green, turns bright orange when ripe and is almost round in shape.
The fruit contains one seed – the kernel – which has a texture akin to a nut. The kernel goes by many names in Africa – Ogbono, Etima, Dika, Wild Mango, to name a few.
Unlike other trees, the African Mango Tree has not been fully domesticated and most of the kernels are harvested from wild trees. Like other nuts and seeds, African Mango seeds are high in fat, containing at least 50% fat.
The kernel can be eaten raw or roasted, like cashew nuts, but most times, they are processed. Some are pounded into a butter, resembling peanut butter. Sometimes, they are compacted into bars akin to chocolate bars. These are usually referred to as Gabon Chocolate. Other times, they are squeezed to extract the oil contained in the kernel.
Mostly however, the kernels are ground and sometimes combined with spices for use in soups and sauces as flavouring. Ground dika kernels lend a slippery texture to, and adds a complex depth of flavour to soups and sauces.
From a nutritional perspective, the African Mango (Bush Mango) has been found to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure and for diabetes.