Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mangoes On My Mind

I have had a really bad craving for mangoes today. I think it is because the weather has been warming up and I am ready for the tropical flavors now. On Neal's mission for our church in Bolivia, they called the mango a "trash fruit" as it was available in an overabundance. When I was younger I thought they tasted like rotten fruit but for some reason, it has really grown on me and I can't get enough of it now. It seems to be a very popular flavor in many Asian countries and I am amazed at the many different ways in which it is used. Perhaps, La Fuji Mama has already done a post about mangoes (sounds like something she would do and she sure is in a better position to do so) but I figure this will help stave off my cravings just a bit until tomorrow.

First off, I am amazed at how many people don't know how to cut a mango. Come on people, this is what makes eating mangoes fun!

I love dried mangoes but there is a difference in quality depending on where you get them (at the flea market at Aloha Stadium = good, in a bulk bin of your grocery store = bad). Mango Dofu (basically a gelatin/pudding mix) is very yummy, especially with diced mango in it. My Hong Kong family introduced us to this and it is a family favorite.

We loaded up on these mango gummies at the Aji Ichiban stores we saw all over in Hong Kong and at the Tokyo airport. These little treasures didn't last very long at our house. I have yet to introduce the mango jelly cups to my family but they are a fun slurpy treat - like mango jello in a tiny cup with a chunk of mango in it. These we can find at any asian grocery store, the gummies we have not found nearby. :(

The first picture is a variety of smoothies (incl mango) with black tapioca mixed in. We first had these in the Chicago area China town. If you have issues with texture, this one might not be for you but I promise, it is very good. Mango Calpico drinks are yummy (non-carbonated) and gotta love a good Mango Lassi. My taste buds tell me it is wrong to have Indian food without a Lassi.

I first had mango ice cream on Andros Island, Bahamas, from an old man who ran an ice cream shack. The second picture is mango mochi ice cream and I first had those in Hawaii but I am excited to find them at our local Asian grocery store. It is a ball of mango ice cream within a layer of mochi so you get this chewy outside with a chilly inside. I think we weird people out when we offer these babies but wow are they good.

The Fujis introduced us to some excellent Thai mango dishes when we were in Thailand a few years back - the first being Thai Sticky Rice with Mango and the second was something we ordered by chance and it turned out to be very good, the Thai Green Mango Salad. This dessert has become a standard for any fancy Thai dinner we host and it has been a while since I've made the salad as I don't often find green enough mangoes here. I rarely find an excellent ripe one too, they are mostly in between blahs.

Hopefully this has opened a whole new world for you or just made you share my cravings! Now get out there and tango with a mango!


  1. What a great post! I actually have not done a mango post. We have only eaten about 2 mangos in Japan because they are so expensive (a $7 mango would be a steal). Paying for fruit in general here seems like extortion. We do enjoy lots of mango flavored stuff though, like those jelly cups, yogurt, yogurt drinks, pudding, etc.

  2. A very fun post! The best mango memories I have are mango sticky rice at a Thai restaurant (yum!) and mango happening to be my favorite flavor of water ice (aka Italian ice) at Rita's. Check it out at http://www.ritasice.com/products_ItalianIce.cfm#. It's a Philadelphia tradition! If you ever come out here, make sure you stop and get one :)

  3. what chance! I just ate a mango yesterday because they were on sale last week. Yumm! I love em, but agree that they are very hard to find perfectly ripe. Either they are too ripe or hard as a rock. Ya get lucky now and then though :)

  4. Thanks for the info on how to cut a mango... I had NO idea! I love mango smoothies. I have gotten Mango pulp from the Indian store here and mixed it with a little ice cream... YUMMY and cheap!


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