Friday, May 07, 2010

Yellow Flood

I've been in high heavens for months now because mangoes - real good ones - have been flooding the markets with no signs of abating.

The price per kilo is not very stable, but at least it doesn't go beyond Php60. With some patience and a good nose for bargains, one can even find Php35-40/kilo ripe carabao mangoes in unlikely places - at the fruit section of SM Hypermarket at the Mall of Asia, for instance, where I rarely buy fruits and vegetables, or at a roving cart along Buendia in Makati City, below a train station, or at the temporary stalls at the back of the Cavite public market.

I'm guessing honey-fragrant, sun-warmed ones are selling for Php20 per kilo in Pangasinan. Such abundance induces a fever in me, and I rush to buy baskets of them (or more appropriately, by the kaing in Pangasinan) even if I have to shell more in Metro Manila and Cavite.

And I get calls once in a while - from friends, relatives, godfathers, wedding sponsors. They don't ask if I like to share their mango bounty. They just ask me to drop by and pick up my share.

These mangoes then proceed to envelop the house with their intoxicating smell, and we can't help but eat cold halved mangoes all day long, despite their wreaking havoc on the stomach of the toddler in the house. And those insufferable heat rashes at the back of the neck and scalp.

Nonetheless mangoes love to race against one another in ripening, so that no matter how much we eat we usually have more than enough ones past their prime (one mango gone to waste is more than enough for me!).

So in addition to eating them as they are, which for me is the best ever way to eat a ripe mango, we make other things where we can incorporate them. Making various kinds of merienda (snacks) is actually a must during summer when the kids are home day-long doing frenetic physical activities.

My mom always said happiness is eating ripe Pangasinan mangoes with suman and tsokolate (unprocessed hot chocolate drink) for breakfast. I found that combination a bit weird when I was a kid, but now I think it is the most divine thing to eat first thing in the morning.

But it is taxing to make suman during these hot months, so I substitute it with pancakes. Chocolate pancakes, because a hot chocolate drink is also unbearable even in the early hours of the day.

I just melt semi-sweet chocolate and mix with the pancake batter, or use a tablespoon of cocoa powder. The sweetness of ripe mangoes against the rich bittersweetness of chocolate is always a delightful pairing that I will never tire of.

One beloved summer treat of my childhood is ice candy - milky concoctions flavored with fruit that are poured into narrow bags of plastic and frozen. I have renewed ties with them this summer, for me and for my own kids, and we've been making lots of them, especially now that the heat has been terrible.

Any left-over fruit from breakfast is made into ice candy, and my son talks about selling them to his friends, but he never gets to because the things haven't even frozen before the kids start raiding the freezer.

The favorite, of course, is mango ice candy. For an even healthier treat, and because two kids have had fever (probably lagnat-laki) the past month, I mix the mangoes with yogurt and some vanilla-flavored milk, so our mango ice candies are even more delectable - they are almost like mango ice cream.

The mango-flavored yogurt made by Nestle and Hacienda Macalauan are both excellent and taste like real mangoes do, so I use these as well whenever I have a chance to go grocery-shopping.

Mango-Yogurt Ice Candies

pulp from 2 pieces large ripe mangoes
325 mg yogurt (or 1 1/2 tubs)
1 cup milk (preferably vanilla-flavored, but any variant will do)
sugar to taste

ice candy bags

  1. Mash the mango pulp, not too finely if you prefer a chunky ice candy.
  2. Pour in the yogurt and milk and mix well.
  3. If using regular (unflavored/unsweetened) yogurt/milk, mix in sugar and let sit for a few minutes for the sugar to melt. Mix again.
  4. Pour into ice candy bags, taking care to let out any air before tying the ends tightly.
  5. Freeze and enjoy.

Makes about 16 pieces 6-8 inch fat ice candies.

Other Ways to Enjoy Ripe Mangoes
Simply Eating a Mango
Mango Shake
Green Mango Shake
Mango Sago
Chicken Fillet with Mangoes
Mango-Chocolate Float
Green Mango Adobo

Commercially Available Mango Products
Mango Layered Cheesecake
Red Ribbon's Mango Cake
Mango Charlotte
Mango Yogurt
Virgie's Mango Tartlets


witsandnuts said...

I am green with envy! I miss Philippine mangoes so much, whether it is green or yellow. I am glad I was able to bring some with me on my last vacation. If only I can dedicate my entire baggage allowance to mangoes. =)

Anonymous said...

Oh that all looked so good! I miss Philippine mangoes. The ones you get her are from Mexico and are very stringy. When I get a chance and I am at a place that sells it I buy Mango ice cream and ube ice cream. I would always take some to work and everyone loved them. I am so jealous of what you can have there. Roz

Kai said...

Why don't fresh Philippine mangoes reach your shores? I know for a fact that the mangoes harvested from our orchards are exported. Do they only go to Japan, or somewhere nearer? I'm sorry you can't have them like we do here at this time.

i♥pinkc00kies said...

I agree.. Nestle's mango yogurt is yummy. Love eating it frozen! :D