Mango dulce de Leche, made with mangoes, made into flan
Several years ago, under pressure to create new Halloween recipes, I had the brilliant idea (a hypothesis at the time) to make caramel using nothing but mangoes. Since mangoes contain significant natural sugar, why wouldn’t they, in pureed form, caramelize like sugar and water do when heated at a high temperature? Well, they do, and I was right. That fall, “Mango Caramel 3 Ways” was born.
During those fall explorations I created 3 unique caramel recipes, all utilizing mango puree as the base or main ingredient – Salted Mango Caramel, with butter, cream and salt, Faux Mango Caramel– which is technically a vegan sugar-free caramel and one of the healthiest options for caramel lovers, and a Tropical Vegan Mango Dulce de Leche, my twist on the oven made hack that uses a can of sweetened condensed milk and a hot oven to make dulce de leche.
This fall I have new mango caramel recipe for authentic dulce de leche, the one I left out on my original mango caramel experiments. I left it out partly because it proved to be the most challenging in terms of achieving a result that captures the essence and texture of true dulce de leche. After tinkering with various ideas over the years I finally, with a little encouragement from Mango Hunter Jeff Ray, figured out how to bring it to life.
Educational, Insightful, & Strategic Packaging
I am very proud of the work we are releasing today with the launch of the new Mango Queen specialty mango line!! I am very proud of the Crespo Organic Mango brand in general– not just in relation to my work in creating its modern form, but also the work of the countless others in El Grupo Crespo who shaped it’s reality, regardless of the marketing. The brand is essentially a modern manifestation of founder Roberto Crespo Fitch’s original vision: that hard work, expertise, and innovation toward growing quality mangoes, while nurturing the community on which said mangoes are grown, will bring success. Success for the family, the business, the community, and mango eaters, too.
A flavor-laden libation syrup made from mango peels
I love the exploratory process of creating new recipes, getting to travel through so many unknowns as I connect ideas and ingredients. Exploring new and unfamiliar possibilities with my creativity fills me with incredible joy. This new recipe brought a lot of joy in the creation process and in the enjoyment of the drink, which I’m currently sipping on whilst I type.
The Cinco de Mayo show goes on, despite supply complexities
A single mango goes a long way: in recipes and in creating #MangoJoy for consumers. Mangoes don’t have to be dirt cheap or in heaping abundance for a consumer to feel the sweet tropical satisfaction and joy that comes from eating and using mangoes.
As I previously reported, Easter is the threshold for volume turnaround. For the most part, that is still the case. The main problem is that the Easter packhouse closings intersect with the lowest volume weeks of fruit. This means the low volume weeks we have experienced are bashing up against less fruit and orchard/packhouse shutdowns for a few days. This means next week (the week after Easter) will be the most difficult week for fruit volume fulfillments industry wide.
Oaxaca and Chiapas are a 3-5 day drive to Nogales & McAllen, and fruit has to be picked, packed, and shipped before anyone can get their hands on it. The math is simple and with an already empty(ish) pipeline and unprecedented demand, we anticipate that it will take a few weeks to fill up. This puts us directly into the Cinco De Mayo push, which means we do not expect a “flush” of product until after Cinco De Mayo. But I say that with caution as the timing puts is directly in the beginning of the transition from the southern regions into the Northern ones with the onset of Nayarit Ataulfos. Continue Reading…
Here is the perfect early spring easter dessert, really we can’t stop eating it
I adore strawberries. One of my long-standing fantasies is that I will retire in Italy as an organic strawberry farmer. I also fantasize of retiring in Sicily as a mango farmer (believe it or not mangoes grow decently there). This recipe fuses my two fantasies together and I can’t help but feel joy at the heart of this dessert. The combination is sweet and interesting with an ease of complexity.
I love pairing mangoes with strawberries in my recipes because of this flavor camaraderie. This new lemon bar-ish recipe began as a cranberry mango bar in the original idea phase. I am so glad I procrastinated because this spring strawberry version feels more natural and lighter with less sugar use than the cranberries would have called for, thanks to the natural sweetness in mangoes and oranges and my strength in using fruits to sweeten deserts.
Those that feast together grow together
Someone recently claimed that recipes have no place in buyer-focused produce marketing. That someone doesn’t know my history with buyers or recipes nor does that person connect the dots between farms and tables, like I do. That someone has probably never witnessed the excitement over the vibrant consumer mango recipes and educational cards boldy worn by the displays of #MuchosMangoes during Crespo Organic Summer Mango Mania, put there by people like Four Seasons Produce’s merchandiser extraordinaire Brian Dey. That someone has likely never tasted the tantalizing Crespo Organic Sinaloa Sauce recipe, the one that I created to pay homage to the Crespo family’s home state of Sinaloa and the habanero and mango connection. No doubt that someone completely underestimates the power of a good recipe and of food in general.
Food is a connector. When we share food, we get deeper insights into one another. Food builds friendships and mends conflicts. It’s a life necessity and one of the few sensory experiences that we get to share with all other human beings on the planet. Food may just be the most powerful connector there is. It is nourishing and, to partake in it together, nourishes the group. As we bring food into our bodies with others, we become the same. That feeling of sameness relaxes us and creates more openness. Trust, cooperation and growth are born out of openness. A mango recipe shared, seen, cooked, shared again (with consumers) binds us all. I know the power of food and a good recipe.
More time to enjoy sunlight and mangoes
Added sunlight time after the end of a workday is amazing especially for those who work a 9 to 5 job. Try these delicious and easy to make mango-centric recipes for “more light”. These recipes from the #CrespoOrganicKitchen are inspired by Daylights Saving time and with an added hour of sunlight you can enjoy these recipes while watching the sunset and add more #MangoJoy to your light.
Étouffée with mango tabasco & mango anise (sugar cube) sazeracs
“Mardi Gras” means fat Tuesday, I only learned that a few years back which makes me giggle a little bit! It always falls before Ash Wednesday which signals the beginning of Lent a predominantly Catholic “event” which happens during the lead up to Easter and typically consists of payer, repentance and some fasting. Fat Tuesday is the day during lent when people indulge in all that they obstain from during lent. The day is a feasting occasion, often filled with all kinds of debauchery, which you can read about in more detail on Refinery 29.
Here are a few mango-centric recipes I whipped up this past weekend to help you celebrate Fat Tuesday which will be even better if you add some #MangoJoy.
A celebratory mango-milk punch for Christmas
I had my first Pechuga, about 30 years ago when I was studying politics in Cuernavaca, Mexico while in college. On one of our outings we visited the then governor of the state of Morelos (where Cuernavaca is located) at his home, to discuss local politics. The governor also happened to produce mezcal. It wasn’t long into the outing when we veered off political course and began indulging in the governors mezcalero side, drinking and discussing mezcal instead. Eventually he pulled out a bottle of his pechuga, or as he humorously described it “mezcal’s breast milk.” After the poorly translated jokes, he went on to describe pechuga to us for real, explaining that it’s a very special and celebratory spirit made by mezcal makers and made with raw chicken or turkey breast as well as a medley of other botanicals, herbs and spices.
Wait, what? The room of 19-20 year old Americans were a bit in shock, even my then weird loving idea self, was aghast with the idea of raw chicken breast used in mezcal.
The silk texture of Mallika’s is perfect for this decadent & easy French toast
This is the second season for our Mexican grown Indian Mallika mangoes and The Crespo Organic Kitchen has been buzzing with excitement. It’s so rare for us to have completely fiberless mangoes and these silky creamy delights are proving fun to create recipes with!
I have long had in my head the idea to make mango French toast, using mango puree in the batter but haven’t gotten around to doing it. Years ago I came up with a great recipe for a food magazine using up leftover eggnog and combining it with blackberries. I loved the taste of the fruit in the toast, much better than too much fruit on top of the French toast.
This year when the Mallika’s made their way into the Crespo Organic Kitchen they just felt perfect for this recipe, and they were and are! While it’s true you can make this recipe with any mango, the fiberless ones are way better.
Instead of the usual sugary whipped cream found on fruit French toast, I opted for fresh strawberry butter, which you can make just by smashing strawberries and mixing them with softened butter!