Mango Mania

If you live in Miami, you know that this summer has had a bumper crop of mangoes!

The bumper crops seem to alternate years, but 2023 has definitely been prolific. Alas, my own mango tree, with delicious Mallika Indian mangoes, didn’t have a lot of mangoes, perhaps because I recently trimmed it. Quite a few of the mangoes I did get were eaten by squirrels, while they were still green and on the tree. Darn squirrels! I did manage to rescue a couple, however, which I relished. I ate those, chilled, sliced and in a bowl. Smooth, creamy, sweet and fragrant. Pure heaven!

My first batch of this year’s mangoes came from a tennis teammate, who was going out of town and didn’t want them to go to waste. She owns a farm in the Redlands and gave me a big box of beauties. With that HUGE supply, I made three batches of Mango Jam– regular, spicy red pepper and habanero.

My Mom was the second person to give me mangoes, as she has quite a few trees my Dad planted. I made Mango Sorbet and Mango Bread with those mangoes. A.J. left a couple for me, so I tried making Mango Bar B Que sauce. I substituted the tomatoes for mangoes and altered some of the ingredients for a more tropical Bar B Que sauce- perfect for shrimp, fish and pork.

When all else fails, and mangoes are in danger of going bad, pureeing them is an excellent idea. These can be frozen for future use, or used in Mango Bellinis, as I did for my Pizza Dinner Party. While I put a little mango puree at the bottom of the glass and poured the Prosecco over the top, in the future I will stir the mango puree into the Prosecco and then pour, thus avoiding the mango volcano eruption the puree created.

I read an article from a local chef, who recommended different ways to use up all the excess mangoes in Miami this year. One way he suggested was to chop up the mangoes, soak them in rum and make them into Mango Mojitos. I chopped and soaked the mangoes in rum for a couple days, but made a Mango Daiquiri instead. Delicious and very refreshing. After sipping this by the pool, I decided this should take the place of Mojitos as the official drink of Florida.

The last remaining mangoes traveled with me for a weekend in Key Largo. Searching inspiration in my fridge, I spotted some fresh mozzarella cheese and decided to use them with that, on a take of a Caprese Salad. I served sliced mangoes with sliced mozzarella on a bed of lettuce and topped it with a raspberry, jalapeno vinaigrette and chopped, toasted almonds. It was quite delicious, refreshing and tropical; I will keep this Mango Mozzarella Salad recipe in rotation for next year. It was an easy and impressive dish.

Below, is how I slice mangoes. I find to be the easiest and most efficient method. Slice in half and cross-hatch the side without the seed. Then, flip the flesh out until it looks like an orange porcupine, then slice those chunks off. The side with the seed is harder to manage, but doable. Slice around the circumference as deep as you can, then remove the skin, exposing the flesh. Cross-hatch the flesh, getting as close to the seed as possible. Slice those chunks off as well and whatever flesh is around the sides of the seed. Voila! You’ve sliced a mango.

Alas, mango season seems to be coming to an end. I went to my Mom’s for more and she offered me avocados instead, now falling from trees at her house. I love Mango Season though- it’s one of the only bright spots in the otherwise unbearably hot and humid Miami summers. And, even with the excess of mangoes available this year, I think most people who live in Miami will agree, it always ends too soon.

Up Next: Around the State in 7 Days

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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