Mexico revs up mango engines with Ataulfos to start the season
Most packing sheds are currently opened, opening or will be opening in the next few weeks in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Ataulfos are on track to start first – some growers have started picking and others will start picking next week and, in the weeks, to follow. Ideally growers should be particular in the pack out as its been reported by several growers – we included- that because of heavy rains during December when fruit formation was taking place, much of the onset fruit may not be of the highest quality (on the outside). Some growers, like us, are opting to have more patience as the fruit behind the onset fruit is showing much better quality. Being particular in terms of pack out vs, the pack everything methodology that often occurs with the opening of the season, has proven to be more successful for our rather large Ataulfo program that lasts through August, typically.
A new, cleverly named, pack house springs up to help
Our direct trade modelof doing business has enabled us to re-invest in our farm, business and operations despite the dwindling margins seen in mangoes. The elimination of extra hands allows for a little room to aspire to succeed and we take this penny-pinching process seriously, In the last few years we have honed in on some important needs as our system grows. Improvements to our pack house Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) , in Sinaloa was one of them. Increasing volume capacity in the southern early regions was another, which is this season big undertaking; a new mango pack house for El Grupo Crespo, Empaque Don Jorge II.
Mutually beneficial results from a direct trade model
In 2015 El Grupo Crespo and I, together, took a big risk and eliminated the middle man; we laid the groundwork to sell Crespo Organic Mangoes using a direct trade approach. This began with revamping the (original) Crespo family mango brand. We notified the bevy of wholesale and retail customers who had been buying our mangoes from well-known intermediaries – explaining how this would benefit them in the short- and long run – and asked them to please support us. Three years into this adventure, it has proven to be a fruitful approach for our customers, consumers and the long-term viability of our farm and business.
I have, like so many, have admired her and been inspired by her since I was young. (That’s before the internet.) Her magazines came first, they were the first of their kind and then the TV shows, again the first, she was and is a pioneer and she’s an exceptional recipe writer and cook. Her recipes, tips and advice are accessible to all skills levels and unlike so many internet recipes today, they actually work and don’t make you feel like you messed up.
It’s winter so most of us, even here in coastal California, have put away our BBQ’s, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t smoking anything, it is after all California. Learning the art of indoor, stove-top smoking, offers great reward in terms of adding depth, flavor and deep character to dishes where a little smoke essence goes a long way.
Every once in a while we make something that not only tastes like magic but was a lot easier to make than we thought it would be. These doughnuts are that. The dough is simple and forgiving to make in the stand mixer and the flavor of the dough is scrumptious; it tastes buttery and citrusy and its texture is soft and pillowy. The oozing mango jelly, with tropical tartness balances. With each bite you just keep wondering how many more there are. It also re-confirms one of winters best fruit pairings- citrus & mangoes. Continue Reading…
Most are aware of my love of a good challenge in the kitchen (and beyond), as I mention often in my blog posts, but I don’t like to force mangoes into holiday recipes just for the sake of it. It either works or it doesn’t work and I tend to move on rather quickly if the ideas don’t appear naturally. This year while whipping up a batch of my famous Middle Eastern Eggnog, I had one of those AH HAH moments (thanks Oprah) in adding mangoes to festive holiday creamy drinks like eggnog. Even better was the notion that by simply adding mango puree, you could transform any frothy beverage, holiday or otherwise. Which got me thinking about Coquito, a recipe on my mango to do list.
Three mango-centric recipes that don’t mess with tradition
I love to cook, I assume that’s obvious. I also like to go rogue in the kitchen when it comes to tradition. That, after all is how change is made, by pushing boundaries. I used to loathe cooking Thanksgiving food. It didn’t matter where I was, or who I was with, the Thanksgiving table, in my mind, was filled with foods and flavors that I didn’t like; carbs, sugars and blandness. The added element of massive elbow grease needed for both the prep and cleanup for just one BIG, quick meal, seemed like a bunch of bullshit; especially as my Thanksgiving’s always seemed to have more football fans than helpful dishwashers; unless you count my loyal dog friends.
A quick and easy Halloween drink for kids, spikeable for the adults!
Most Americans celebrate Halloween in some form or another. Whether you are giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, dressing up for work or partying it up somewhere festive- hoping to win best costume; we all tend to get extra jolly on this dark evening. I’m always trying to get mangoes in on the fun, but as I teeter more on the verge of boundaries these days then pushing through them, I recognize, we can’t incorporate mangoes into every single thing- one has to be clever about it…… it has to be tasty and not scream “Im trying too hard.” This is my Halloween attempt. Continue Reading…
Pumpkin spiced mango curd, seems like something Starbucks should have, no?
Pavlovas are a super simple and make one of the most versatile desserts there is. It’s sort of a marshmallow and sort of a merengue cookie and usually topped off with whipped cream and fruit. Summer versions are quite spectacular, filled with berries and stone fruit and dripping with succulent in season nectars. We see fewer autumnal versions and I truth be told I kind of only accidentally came up with this idea, while embarking on the recipe/idea for Goblin Blood Punch and Ghost Toppers. I had some extra merengue from testing and some extra spice so the idea was born to not only spice the pavlovas, as I knew that would taste great, but to flavor mango curd with the spices and see if I could tame mango’s bright and sunny, summery essence and make it quieter and more introspective than it’s used to. Continue Reading…
Under The Mango Tree is a sweet spot, where I, a long time mango industry crackerjack, share everything I know. A place to find mango centric, agricultural, food and culture knowledge and a few juicy industry secrets and lies.