It’s a funny (funny weird, not funny ha ha) time to report on copious amounts of mangoes. Supply on the round mangoes has taken an abrupt turn this week as Peru’s volume of Kents finally came to a halt and as Mexican Tommy Atkins are still just drizzling out of the orchards. Shortage is the main talk of the mango town. ………BUT.
The business of growing food for the American and Canadian markets in Mexico can often seem, and often times is, a strain on the environment. Regardless of whether your climate change viewpoints fall right, left or center, we could all agree that the unpredictable nature of weather affects us all. As more and more people around the globe lean more towards believing in climate change, more resources are shifted into its science and studies, and with that comes not only solutions but simple information that can sometimes surprise us all.
New studies are continuing to emerge leading to conclusions that mango orchards can help mitigate climate change.
Shortcutting the promotion of Mexico’s yellow slipper
This is an industry geared post.
Even though the rain is currently falling and the snow dropping, spring is definitely coming. It always does and when it does mango sales increase. The way we crave comfort food in the winter is exactly the way we crave healthy and vibrant foods in the spring. Mangoes are both healthy and vibrant and Ataulfos are the most vibrant and healthy mangoes we have access to in our organic marketplace. The buttery smooth Ataulfo flesh makes them extremely versatile for cooking and they are easy to please consumers price wise with sizing at 14/16/18 vs 8/9/10. The Crespo Organic Ataulfo program is robust. Not only do we take sizing and quality seriously but we have invested in the consistency of volume necessary to build sales and ongoing national programs. The Crespo Organic seasons starts in late January and moves through the end of August, so its also long one- worthy of some attention, especially as Ataulfos take off as the fastest growing organic varietal among consumers.
I am lucky to live in California, a place where citrus literally falls off trees in winter and brightens our rain soak days. Our grocery stores and farmers markets are brimming with a variety of brightly hued choices and my neighbors give me buckets of Meyer lemons, mandarins, oranges as well as a cluster of other varieties. So we may have went a little crazy in the Crespo Organic Kitchen the last few weeks creating recipes with these offerings. Mangoes compliment citrus perfectly by balancing with sweetness, eliminating the need for excess sugar. The perfumed nature of ripe mangoes balances the deep rich flavor of citrus peels. We are quite pleases with these recipes and think we offer something for everyone – sweet and savory. Its a celebration of the magic that occurs when mangoes are paired with citrus!
Minneola Mini Mango Cakes with Mango Cremé Anglaise and Citrus & Barberry Floral Salsa
This recipe was adapted from Dori Greenspans Mediterranean Yogurt Cake with Clementines. I took the concepts of yogurt and olive oil cake and made it even moister by adding mango puree. I got further inspired by love of the Middle East and exotic flavors and decided to included barberries and sumac. These mini cakes have excellent texture and vibrancy from the citrus zest and a perfumed quality from the mangoes. We serve them with Mango Crème Anglaise and Citrus Flower Salsa for an effect that’s quite magical.
I find out in this new cocktail recipe inspired by local Absinthe
This cocktail is inspired by one of my favorite teas and a bottle of locally made (Marin County) absinthe I was gifted on a recent writing assignment for Edible Marin & Wine Country Magazine. (The Crespo Organic Kitchen creates its magic from my Ger-Nis Culinary kitchen in Bolinas, California.)
Weeks 8-12 are the problem. Last Friday there was an early morning surge of mango chatter amongst industry folks. A handful of the bigger conventional players released a series of statements —more like warnings, in the form of internal and external emails, the subject being massive shortages of round mangoes as the Peruvian season winds down and transitions into Mexican and Central American fruit.
Bubble Tea is a Taiwanese invention said to have originated in the 80’s at a well-known tea stand. Randomly some flavor was shaken into tea, the bubbles that formed with the shake essentially named the drink. Milk tea was already quite common, so adding sweet flavors become new way to enjoy it. Tapioca pearls came next, which had just been introduced to Taiwan and were heavily used in desserts and sweet delicacies. It was only a matter of time before they made their way into the sweet, dessert-like milk tea concoction.
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
Update 2/25: We are a little behind schedule about a week and the packing house is now set to open around the 8th of March, get inspected start packing Crespo mangoes by the 15-20th! Check out the new updated photos of the packing shed at the very bottom of this post!
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.
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.