Monday, June 23, 2014

Mango Madness

Mango Madness
Get Your Mango On

Mango season has arrived in the Federation! They overflow in the markets and the bins and tables on the sidewalks of Basseterre and in the villages around the Island. 



Half eaten by the monkeys they are strewn on the ground under mango trees everywhere. 

















Some of the local favorites are the Grafted, the Rosy Cheeks and the Julies, but there are plenty other types here in the Federation. 
I got these on the road side in Conaree.  I know the Rosy Cheek is in the Middle
Perfect background placed on Recovered Railway Ties


What can we do with all of these mangos? High tourist season has come and gone. The small population can’t seemingly eat all of these mangos at one time. To answer this question I decided to do a bit of online research and ask around locally.

Online I found Trinidad and Tobago’s mango festival which promotes the healthy benefits of mango and the many uses for it. 








Google searching mango product images a multitude of mango products popped up on my screen.  Mango chips, mango chutney, mangos preserved in a jar, mango smoothie ice pops, mango puree, mango soda, mango powder for instant drink, canned mango pulp, mango yogurt, mango jam, mango jelly, mango marmalade, mango bars, mango tarts, ok and you can’t beat this one, Gain currently has an apple mango tango scent line of detergent products.  I called them to determine whether or not they actually use mangos to create the scent. Unfortunately they do not. It is artificially made. I had not noticed it before, but today I saw this scent of gain on the shelf at Rams and crazy me took a picture. 


How lucky we  are  to get a whiff of mango naturally in the summer months just by visiting a mango tree.



While searching I found two local venues that have been named after this sweet juicy fruit.  Mango Orchard Spa located on the beautiful landscape of Ottley’s Plantation was my first find.
The Spa was named as such because of its location. Yes you guessed it. It is in a Mango Orchard. Some of the practitioners there have used the pit of the mango to make a scrub.  They also use a mango infused paraffin wax for their pedicures and manicures. During mango season the spa provides guests with the freshest mangos right off the trees.  The Royal Palm Restaurant at Ottley’s serves fresh mangos, just as they are at breakfast along with mango muffins. When fresh they are also used to make mango salsa and mango tarts. They freeze them to use throughout the year in sorbets, ice cream and sauces.  I may just have to try out their spa one of these days. I have not had the opportunity to get out there too often, but  I have enjoyed an amazing Sunday brunch there a few times. This time of year just the small height elevation gives a reprieve to the heat felt here in the low lands and you can savor their mango muffins.

The next venue with the Mango namesake is The MangoRestaurant located in Nevis at the Four Seasons.  Their menu includes a variety of mango infused food inclusive of mango chipotle, trio ceviche with mango,  grilled mango, mango in salad, mango dressing, mango chutney, mango marinade,  mango salsa, mango rum butter and more.

The Hermitage also located in Nevis tries to collect and preserve as many ripe mangos as possible. They offer mango juice throughout the year. They also use them to make mango crumble, mango bread, mango sorbet and mango daiquiris. They like to use the green mangos to make their famous mango chutney and pickle mangos as well. There is no need for them to buy mangos when they are out of season. They are able to store and preserve to keep the mango delights available year round.  

Eating mangos can be as messy or as clean as you want it to be. We used to take mangos to the beach when the children were small. That way when the kids were finished they could wash up in the ocean. I have seen a friend of mine simply take a small section of the peel away with his teeth and literally squeeze out the fruit with little to no mess at all. For Chef Jason Pereira his favorite place to eat a mango is in the sea. I am definitely going to try that one.  I will end with this perfect quote written by Jason about his favorite mango experience. “Simply (eating) one relaxing in the ocean. The saltiness from the seawater opens up your taste buds and magnifies the flavor of the mango. "Nothing sweet so."


Share your favorite mango recipes/favorite place to get them with us.

A few sites to help us get our mango on at home.
http://www.mango.org offers a free downloadable mango cook book and tutorial on how to cut mango.