Ingredient SpotLight

It is not surprising that mangoes are associated with warm weather. After all, the mango is native to southern Asia, especially Burma and eastern India. It spread early on to Malaya, eastern Asia and eastern Africa. Mangos were introduced to California (Santa Barbara) in 1880.

The flesh of a mango is peach-like and juicy with a hint of pineapple flavor. The flavor is pleasant and rich and high in sugars and acid. The mango is the apple (or peach) of the tropics, and more fresh mangoes are eaten world-wide than any other fruit. The fruit is grown commercially on a small scale in Florida. In California a large planting in the Coachella Valley has now reached production stage.

Mangoes have a sacred role in India. Buddha was presented with a grove of mango trees in which to rest, and the tree has come to be seen as something that grants wishes, as well as a symbol of love.

Mangoes are high in Vitamin A, and contain beta carotene. The darker orange flesh has the most vitamin A, but without a doubt all mangoes have a lot of vitamins and minerals. Mangoes are a good source of Vitamin C too. But, perhaps most important, they are at the peak of their season in June and July and are fantastic in both sweet and savory applications. In fact, here are two great recipes that I love that you can enjoy together! Enjoy!

Mango Daiquiri

  • 4 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. curacao
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped mangoes
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 c. crushed ice
  • Mango chunks for garnish

In a blender, combine the rum, curacao, mango, lime juice, sugar and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into four tall goblets. Garnish each drink with a chunk of mango on a cocktail umbrella or stick.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Broiled Chicken with Mango Ginger and Cilantro

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped peeled mango
  • 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 T. white wine vinegar

Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil the broiler pan. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken lightly between sheets of waxed paper to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the prepared pan. Broil it until the skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and broil until cooked through but still juicy, about 3 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add the mango; sauté until it's heated through and beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the cilantro and vinegar. Season the dish with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on plates. Top it with the warm mango mixture and serve.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes