b’Ringing in the New Year with an abundance of organic mango options
I last reported, back in December that the upcoming season would be commencing early. This still true and our dates are still on target, due to cooperating, albeit a little colder weather. The Oaxacan packinghouse January 20th opening continues to be our season start date; which means everybody’s sweet and favorite Mexican Ataulfo mango, which begins first in every region, will be arriving to the US border around the last days of January.
Cautiously optimistic early Mexican season start forecasted in Oaxaca & Chiapas
First, I want to apologize for the lack of news from Under the Mango Tree. I should have been reporting consistently during the off-season (for Ecuador and Peru), considering we are all in this mango thing together. Back in early November, I should have alerted you to the start of Mexican bloomage in the southern regions, but I have been busy uprooting my California life for a new life on a lake in the Ozarks in southern Missouri. (Read more here about what that means for the Crespo Organic Kitchen. In short, it means bringing more mango joy to the Midwest.) A big move like this – especially in the middle of a pandemic – takes time and comes with its hybrid set of hurdles, including both the normal and the pandemic kinds. I just didn’t have the bandwidth, but I’m moving through the obstacles. Continue Reading…
The Crespo Organic Kitchen & marketing offices relocate to the Ozarks
Much like children needing to live where their parents go, the Crespo Organic Kitchen has to move when I do. So, when I decided to move to Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks, it was mandatory that the Crespo Organic Kitchen and the marketing offices, come with me. It was one of those moves location wise that was peculiar at the onset, but now that it’s done just feels good for everyone, including Crespo Organic.
It was hard to move for me, from the gigantic California kitchen overlooking the deep blue Pacific Ocean, where the bulk of my mango photography, videography and education content for the Crespo brand was created. But, with little choice in the matter, I had a small amount of time to choose a place to live and work, and in the midst of a pandemic hovering over the world, a smart decision needed to be made; one that was good for my mango and food work as well as my spirit and my family. Continue Reading…
Hot & dry Mochis weather yields ripe Keitts, season end is here
Short read: The season is ending abruptly. We are ending on a high note.
One of the most important factors in my “successful” organic mango career is learning to end on a high note. At the personal level, I have maneuvered through various mango networks, regions and growers before setting comfortably in Mexico alongside the Crespo family and El Grupo Crespo. Through this long journey in mangoes (and life) I have learned that good endings, especially in regards to the timing of the ending, in this case of a mango season, is crucial for future, sustainable, long-term success.
The ability to forecast risks, problems and potential losses that every mango season’s end inevitably brings is an invaluable skill. At this juncture of my career, this luckily involves way more experts than me alone. With El Grupo Crespo & the Crespo Organic brand, we have continued to build a process that integrates many likeminded thinkers and visionaries who can hone in on the micro aspects of almost any growing situation or crop scenario. This team can equally and simultaneously keep a bird’s eye view for optimal decision-making in the here and now and for the future success for the program.
Big Kents, gigantic Keitts, rain delays and a lack of 10’s pressure us all
And, of course, it’s not like COVID-19 is no longer an issue…
It would be a gigantic understatement to say this season has been an odd one. While I have said this for consecutive seasons, I really do mean it about this one! Oddly enough, the weather has been fairly cooperative, and crops from the south to the north have been yielding decent amounts of high quality and exceptionally tasty fruit, on time and without much resistance. We have had little opportunity to taut the highlights of the season and stop and recognize the extradentary flavors we are receiving on all mango varietals. The season is bizarre and so currently is the world before us.
Are we every really prepared for good things to end?
In recent years, Ataulfo mangoes have become a staple of many mango programs across the USA and Canada. Fruit eaters have warmed to this deliciously sweet and texturally silky mango. The path to increase consumer appreciation has not been easy for the Ataulfo, whose skin is most often blemished and overly wrinkled when it is perfectly ripe. Its shelf life is short, and bruises and scuffs tend to show up more on the Ataulfo – oftentimes showing up and disappearing and showing up and disappearing as the mango moves through the various stages of ripeness. Unlike its counterparts, the Ataulfo mango can only be eaten when ripe, so patience is a must and confusion among consumers regarding when it’s actually ready can be high. It’s Mexican name, celebrating its Mexican heritage, can be hard to pronounce for many North Americans, creating complications in education and marketing and spreading the joy for this mango varietal. Yet, despite all these obstacles, Mexico’s yellow slipper has succeeded, particularly in the organic sector, and especially as more consumers taste it and learn its nuances. Many retailers have succeeded greatly promoting this mango and sales have jumped in recent years. And now, just when everyone is used to its high dollar sales and consumer excitement, the season is ending.
“Defendemos la igualdad, la justicia y el respeto por todos los seres”
Es difícil para mí publicar con alegría, enseñar sobre mangos y continuar educando (o “propagandizar” podría ser una mejor palabra) cuando el mundo parece estar en un momento tan distinto, al borde de un cambio importante en el pensamiento colectivo.
Si bien creo que Crespo hace esto (propagandizar) con un nivel de autenticidad que es raro en este negocio, compartiendo nuestro punto de vista sobre el mundo de los mangos, los productos orgánicos, los agricultores mexicanos y las comunidades agrícolas…no somos más que una voz en un mar de muchos como nosotros. Sí, nos consideramos expertos en estos temas y, desde la perspectiva de los agricultores y la comunidad agrícola y a través de la lente de la cultura mexicana, estamos subrepresentados en nuestra industria en general.
“We stand for equality, justice and respect for all beings”
It’s difficult for me to joyously post, teach about mangoes and continue to educate (or propagandize might be a better word) when the world seems to be at such a distinct moment in time, on the brink of a major shift in collective thinking.
While I think Crespo does this (propagandize) with a level of authenticity that’s rare in this business, sharing our point-of-view on the world of mangoes, organics, Mexican farmers, and farming communities… we are but one voice in a sea of many like us. Yes, we consider ourselves experts on these subjects and, from the perspective of the farmer and farming community and through the lens of Mexican culture, we are an under-represented in our industry as a whole.
A stronger box in the midst of chaos to ease the burden in building bigger displays of #MuchosMangoes
A few weeks ago I thought things were tough in our industry. With the Corona virus spreading through the USA at an alarming rate, mango sales and specifically the size of mango displays were not getting bigger, despite the wall of mangoes coming from the orchards.
The big, bold displays of #MuchosMangoes celebrating what we call Summer Mango Mania – or the collision point between peak production time in Nayarit & Sinaloa and the height of consumer demand, better known as; SUMMER TIME– have not begun to appear as they usually do by this time. This season, and this week in particular, everything looks different in our world and yet the mangoes still grow and people still eat.
Obsessions and more obsessions and white chocolate ripples
Often when I share that I don’t really love eating mangoes, people gasp. I’m more than certain they are thinking, “how is it possible that this woman represents an entire mango brand, leading its recipe development when she doesn’t like mangoes?”
In my mind I still feel like I am the best person for the job. I don’t love sitting around eating sweet ripe mangoes, but I love coming up with creative ways to incorporate them into recipes and enjoying them in various forms other than the pure sweet fruit. I love the flavor, texture and opportunity mangoes give to me. I am not needed in order to teach people how to eat a fresh mango. I’m far more useful in the instruction of how to add them to everyday cooking, and recipes, demonstrating their extraordinary versatility by incorporating them into just about anything.