How many courses could you eat that feature mangoes? Three? Four? I had five last night and I'm not sick of them yet! There was mango used in sashimi, in salad rolls, in a sauce for scallops, in a spicy salsa topping for duck and chunks of mango layered in between tapioca and mango granite. Each course was positively delicious and helped to showcase how mangoes can be used in just about every way, paired with many ingredients and with many different wines.
At dinner was famed Florida chef Allen Susser, in town to talk about mangoes and while I am a big fan of the fruit I had no idea just how many varieties there are. Over one hundred different varieties grow in Florida alone, and at least 8 - 10 are grown commercially. Susser literally wrote the book on mangoes, The Great Mango Book and is known for offering his customers a dinner for two in exchange for a wheelbarrow filled with mangoes.
Mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world, which isn't surprising when you consider how they are grown all over Latin America, Asia, the Carribean, etc. According to the Creations Dessert site, an enzyme in mangoes is not only good for digestion but comforting and "partially responsible for that feeling of contentment". Learning more about the different varieties and understanding which varieties work best with which recipes is something new for me. There are differences in texture, fiber and flavor. I do see different mangoes at stores and I look forward to experimenting with them and trying some new recipes.
Allen Susser will be at the Bristol Farms store at the Westfield Center in San Francisco today, May 23rd, from 4 - 6 pm sampling mangoes and answering questions, stop by if you are in the neighborhood.
Here's my recipe for Mango Shrimp Kebabs that I created to be paired with a Viognier which was the same wine I had with the scallop and mango dish.
Mango Shrimp Kebabs
1 lb large shrimp (16-20/lb)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
pinch red chili flakes
pinch of salt
2 mangoes, peeled
Soak 10-12 bamboo skewers in water for about 30 minutes to prevent burning.
Make the marinade by combining the ginger, olive oil, orange and lemon juice and a pinch of red chili flakes and salt. Peel the shrimp and place in the marinade for 5 minutes. Slice the mangoes into about 12 chunks each. Skewer the shrimp alternating with the mango on the skewers and grill or broil for 5 minutes, turning once, until completely pink.