Mango Season

Established on the lush, and volcanic western slopes of the Big Island, Coffee Times owner, Les Drent, roasted, and sold his first pound of Kona coffee in 1993. Five years later, Les moved his Coffee Times roasting operation to the beautiful island of Kauai, and established the Blair Estate shade grown, organic coffee farm in 2001. While his passion for farming is now deeply rooted in the Kauai soil, he continues to be a strong proponent for the preservation of 100% Kona coffee.

Mango Season
By: Lois Ann Ell

July 13, 2012

Years ago there was a large, looming mango tree near our house on the south side of Kaua’i. Not only did it provide an abundance of juicy mangos each summer, it offered shade and greenery during the sometimes excruciatingly hot summers among the landscape of cactus and lava rock of the Po’ipu.

A bowl of ripe mango fruit

A bowl of ripe mango fruit

It wasn’t on our property however, and when the neighbors decided to remove the tree to make room for a new home, my mother went to gather the last mangos the tree had hanging in clumps of bright oval jewels of green, red and orange, and in a spontaneous moment of emotion, she hugged the tree. A few days later, she saw what the beginning of the infamous mango rash—a red, itchy irritation that covered her arms and neck, similar to poison ivy rash. The rash comes from the oil the plant produces—a natural insect repellent—that exists on the trunk, the leaves, and the fruit of the mango. Three weeks later the rash was gone, but her love for the delicious, tropical fruit remains, albeit with a now careful course of preparation.

When it’s summertime on Kaua’i it is not uncommon to have a neighbor or friend gift a brown bag of goodness: fat, ripe sappy, sticky mango. Even if one is allergic to the sappy skin, most can still eat the fruit, and just wash their hands thoroughly after handling the outside of the mango. Considering how long mangos have been in existence—grown in India over five thousand years ago—and how many varieties there are scattered across the globe—hundreds—the uses and recipes for the sweet fruit are endless.

In Hawai’i a local favorite is pickled mango, using the unripe, green mango fruit and pickling it in vinegar and spices. For ripe mangos, some common favorites are:

• Mango salsa, with red onions and cilantro

• Mango margaritas, blended with tequila and lime

• Mango smoothies, blended with bananas and yogurt

• Mango chutney, jam or preserves

One of my favorite recipes, however, that I made with a bag of mangos that was gifted to me this week was dense, moist Mango Bread, loaded with big chunks of fruit, as well as cranberries and gogi berries, one of the now trendy super foods. The recipe is below.

Mango Cranberry & Gogi berry bread

Mango Cranberry & Gogi berry bread

Mango Bread with Cranberries and Gogi Berries

Mix together:

-2 cups flour

-2 tsp. baking soda

-pinches of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

Mix together in another bowl:

-1/2 cup butter

-1/2 cup coconut oil

-2 cups sugar

-3 eggs

-1 tsp. vanilla extract

Add dry and wet ingredients in one big bowl.

Add in:

3 cups chopped mango

1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup gogi berries

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

Enjoy!

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