Browsing Category

Kitchen

Featured, Kitchen

Mango & Blackberry Cheese Danish

April 26, 2024

A nostalgic childhood memory and an easy {mango-centric} weekend endeavor

As a child, I adored cheese Danishes. Back then (yes, I’m that old) local bakeries were abundant, crafting freshly baked goods daily. Starbucks hadn’t emerged yet, so those artificially flavored, preservative-laden pastries were rare, mainly found in gas stations, packaged for on-the-go consumption. Ironically, even those seemed fresher than today’s Starbucks versions, which appear designed (and grossly) to last indefinitely.

One particular cheese Danish memory from a bakery in Solvang, CA, remains etched in my memory after spending a day there with my dad as a kid. If you ever find yourself near Solvang, CA, a quaint Danish settlement nestled just off the coast in the Santa Ynez Valley amidst vineyards and European-style bakeries, you must indulge. The town still exudes Danish charm, and its bakeries craft the perfect cheese Danish, often with the freshest California fruits transformed into delectable jams strewn atop the Danishes.

A cheese Danish is a pastry with a creamy cheese filling encased in a flaky pastry crust, sometimes enhanced with fruit jam. It’s a cherished pastry worldwide, especially in Denmark, and it’s everywhere in Solvang! Continue Reading…

Featured, Kitchen

Culinary Prowess

March 8, 2024

Women’s History Month, Women’s Day and a Woman’s Work

It’s in the best interest of the industry to prioritize the meaningful inclusion of women in all facets of our business, especially positions of power and decision-making. The rich and intricate knowledge held by women remains an underutilized resource and, in a world, where resources are becoming increasingly scarce, neglecting this valuable asset, appears to me, a form of maleficence.

We grow and sell food and it’s a fact that women know more about food than men.  From farm to fork, orchard to table, we all benefit instantly from the inclusion of women. I want to focus on one specific, personally significant space in which women’s knowledge and real life experience is often overlooked in our business —women’s culinary prowess. The culinary expertise of women is a rich treasure trove, directly influencing and contributing significantly to the overall chain’s profitability and sustainability. This impact extends all the way to consumers, ensuring they experience  ultimate value, top-notch quality, and an optimal level of excitement – or, in the language of mango enthusiasts, #mangojoy.

Patriarchal placement put women in the kitchen and it has also unequivocally ignored the incredible insight and wisdom they gained from being put there. In our business of growing food and selling food it seems so ludicrous that women still have to fight for inclusion in particular in this light.

Continue Reading…

Featured, Kitchen

Mango Chutney

December 20, 2023

Your new year-round mango condiment

Chutney is essentially a blend of fruit, vinegar, sugar, and spices cooked down into a textured sauce. It’s one of the oldest condiments. This versatile sweet and spicy Indian version needs a permanent place in your food repertoire. Use it as an accompaniment on cheese boards or better yet on grilled cheese sandwiches. It can also be used to flavor  curries, meats and stews, or as a topping, adding both sweet and spicy elements to any dish. The mango tames the spice but doesn’t hide it. Opt for firmer-fleshed ripe mangoes, such as Tommy Atkins, to maintain their shape after cooking.

Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, Kitchen, News

A Christmas Mango Teaser

December 20, 2023

Generally jolly good orchard news,  a sprinkle of bah humbug
& my best holiday mango recipes

 Roberto Crespo, a member of the #HermanosCrespos “band” or what I consider the lead singer of our south, is currently and like usual, deeply rooted in the soils of Oaxaca and Chiapas preparing for the season start up.  This week he is sharing some encouraging updates direct from our Mexican mango orchards down there, which feels like the best Christmas news ever! He sprinkles a little bah humbug on our festive mood, reporting of some serious wind currently swirling the orchards, noting it could be concerning for fruit supply farther into the season. I will report back with my usual New Year/ New Season Mexican Mango Predictions next week with more details from Roberto.  Consider this just a little teaser of Christmas hope before we all break for the holiday. Today, I want mostly to sprinkle a bit of #MangoJoy on us for the Mexican mango season ahead with the scarcity of positive offshore organic mango news, I thought some flashes of good news would be a nice change.

Continue Reading…

Featured, Kitchen

Mango Milk Candy

October 16, 2023

 

 

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.

Continue Reading…

Featured, Kitchen, News

Crespo Organic Debuts Opulent Specialty Mango Tags

July 2, 2023

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.

Continue Reading…

Featured, Kitchen

Mexican-Mango Oleo-Saccharum

June 25, 2023

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.

Continue Reading…

Culture, Featured, Kitchen, News, People

#CelebrateMexico #CelebrateMangoes

April 5, 2023

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…

Featured, Kitchen

Strawberry Mango Bars

April 4, 2023

 

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.

Continue Reading…

Culture, Featured, Kitchen, News, People

My Equipo’s Recipe for Success

March 22, 2023

 

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.

Continue Reading…