‘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!
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!
1 Firm but ripened mango
1/2 Red Onion
A drizzle of Honey
1 Lime (Zested and Juiced)
2 Stalks of Culantro or 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, 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!