Sunday, June 7, 2015

I Love Mangoes! And a Recipe.

Yes, its a mango. In Belize we call this a "slippas mango" for its supposed resemblance to a slipper. This one was about the size of a papaya and dripping with delicious sweet juice. I love mangoes. And mango season has begun here in Belize. Mango trees are all over Placencia Peninsula, dropping ripe fruit left and right. Tiny pungent garlic mangoes grenading the sand below a massive tree, blue mangoes beckoning from someone's back yard, round apple mangoes, slippas mangoes and the old standby hybrid "number 11". Last Saturday was even Mango Fest in nearby Hopkins Village. Of course I was there, Taste Belize Tours had to make an appearance after all!

The best kind of mango is the one you don't pay for. There is a long standing tradition of naughty children "stoning" the neighbors tree for illicit mangoes in Belize. As an adult such an avenue seemed questionable, but a few days ago a significant other and I found another way. We walked down the beach and stumbled across a few big trees laden with fruit on an abandoned property. The caretaker not only said we could get mangoes, but even lent us his mango picking stick. We returned home loaded down with fragrant loot.

Free mangoes yay! Now what to do with them? There are so many amazing things you can do with ripe mangoes, the first being to cut that juicy flesh off the seed and devour it standing over the sink so you don't drip everywhere. But after that...well, thanks to another culinary experiment we had freshly smoked king mackerel in the fridge and I decided to make a smoked fish hash. Topping it off was a yogurt sauce and this delicious fresh mango salsa. Tasty by itself with chips, and wonderful at balancing the salty savoury flavours of the smoked fish.

Mango Cucumber Salsa with Habanero


1 large mango, peeled, de-seeded and chopped finely
1 medium cucumber, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 small or half medium onion (a purple onion makes for a nice color contrast), finely chopped
About 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (may be omitted if you don't care for it)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 habanero, seeds removed, minced (use a sharp knife and hold it with a fork, or wear gloves, habanero is nothing to play with!)
Salt to taste
Lime juice


Mince and chop all ingredients. Stir together and add salt and lime juice to taste. Let rest for at least ten minutes for the flavours to meld. Serve alone with tortilla chips. This is also great on top of guacamole, refried beans, or topping a nice piece of fish or chicken. What is your favorite mango recipe? More of mine to come!

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