Contessa Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

‘Tis the season for Mangoes! Summer and mangoes go hand in hand on the island. A ripe fragrant fruit that begs you to tear into its juicy sweetness and find something wonderful to do with it. Mango juice, mango cake, or just a good plain old mango on a hot tropical day.

Mangoes are summer’s perfect match! Growing up on the island, in the summertime school was out, and so were our bikes. We would pedal them to this one secret spot we found with a tree full of mangoes. A wild mango tastes nothing like the ones you find in the grocery store. You smell it before you taste it. We would waddle home in a mango coma–shirts stained, sticky faced, and gorged on its golden pulp. Satisfied.

Mango for me is also synonymous with food sharing. I can count the number of times I’ve had to buy a mango on the island. And it was probably only because it was out of season. Food sharing is such a part of our cultural consciousness. It’s nothing for a friend to say, “Hey, our tree is bearing! I am bringing you a bag of mangoes today!” Yes, you read correctly, a BAG of mangoes. Not a few, not a couple, a BAG!

Bag of Mangoes2

As a matter of fact, the mango I used in this recipe came from one of my favorite people on the island, Mr. William Roebuck and his daughter (and my friend) Henna Galiber! We are a generous people on this tiny rock, and we make the most of what we create, and share it with each other. This is truly one of my favorite parts of island life. Food is a communal thing. It is a shared thing. It is a love thing.

This recipe is a simple one, but it is bursting with complex flavors–crunchy sweet red onions, tangy sweet and tart mangoes, floral cool culantro/cilantro, and clean notes of black and sweet seasoning peppers.

Mango “yummy” Salsa! I hope you enjoy it!

Mango Tree 2



1 Firm but ripened mango

1/2 Red Onion

A drizzle of Honey

1 Lime (Zested and Juiced)

2 Stalks of Culantro orΒ  1 Tablespoon of Chopped Cilantro

1 Sweet Seasoning Pepper

Salt and Pepper to Taste


Dice the mango into small pieces and set aside in a bowl. The mango should not be so ripened that it is too soft to work with. It should be firm enough to keep its shape in the salsa without softening.

Dice the red onion, and chop the Culantro or cilantro,Β  add to the mango.

Zest and juice the lime and add to the mix.

Finely chop the seasoning pepper and toss in.

Drizzle a bit of local raw honey over the mixture, about two teaspoons for just a hint of sweetness.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss all the ingredients together until it is mixed in well and lightly coated with the lime and honey.

I paired mine with some uber-crunchy, and super spicy, fried conch fritters for a light afternoon lunch.

Simple, and beyond flavorful!


Mango Salsa 2

12 thoughts on “Contessa Mango Salsa

  1. Good afternoon Ms. Bailey-Roka,
    First – what wonderful recipes and photos! I can’t wait to try some of them …all of them ; ) I’m getting hungry just reading them!

    Second, I have a site mostly dedicated to the island of St John but with a dash of Virgin Islands. I wonder if I could periodically post one of your wonderful island recipes as a resource for my readers? I would of course give you credit and include a link to your site.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


      1. Good morning Ms. Bailey-Roka,
        My site is . It’s dedicated to travel information about St John ( specifically) and the Virgin Islands ( in general). I’d like to offer more information to people interested in the Caribbean – and food seems like a great way to reach them! I’ll email you directly and perhaps open a dialog.

        Again, fantastic recipes and images! They make me want to cook and eat and drink ; )

  2. Yum. We call it chow and it is wonderful as a condiment, a side to a meal, or even on it’s own as a snack. The mangoes on the tree are so very pretty. What variety are they?

    1. I think these were what we call Julie Mangoes, Wizzy! They were JUUUUUUST ripened enough to be ahhhhmazing! I have been in mango heaven since the season started, and this is a side dish most days, especially as things heat up! Glad you like it!

  3. Delicious! I often make a foil packet with tilapia (or other white fish) and mango salsa and this salsa took it to another level. Unfortunately, I was down to one bite before I remembered to take a picture. Next time.

    1. Can’t wait to see those pics, Annie! I remember you said you were looking for a great mango salsa recipe, so I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I think the honey and lime are key! So, glad you enjoy it! πŸ™‚

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