|Let's Go Crazy Over Philippine Mangoes!|
The summer (dry) months in the Philippines, despite the maddening heat is close to my heart and my gut. These months of March to May bring the most beautiful of flowers, the perfect days to head to the beaches and frolic under the sun in any of our 7,107 stunning islands and savor our decadent fruits with the abundance of delicious and sweet, oh sweet mangoes! Read on and join me as I go crazy over Philippine MANGOES!!!
|Deliriously delicious Philippines Mangoes|
There are numerous varieties of mangoes in the world but the Philippine mangoes, specifically the Philippine Carabao mangoes grown in Guimaras has been hailed as the sweetest variety as declared by the Guinness Book of World Records since 1995.
|Mango Farm & newly harvested mangoes|
According to Michael Caballes, a former horticulturist and the Technical Services Manager of Allied Botanical Corporation, “the Philippine carabao mango has a very distinct sweetness and aroma that you cannot get from any other mangoes. Through decades of selection, there has been quite an impressive improvement in our mangoes from Guimaras, Zambales and Pangasinan. What came out are fruits that have more meat, more flavor and sweetness and are less fibrous compared to other mango-producing countries.”
|Pollo Buenavista from Cafe Havana|
In search for the various mango concoctions, I’ve explored the metro to find some delicious mango creations. Using the Zambales mangoes, I’ve tasted LJC’s Café Havana and Lorenzo’s Way offerings. Café Havana delights with Pollo Buenavista which consists of grilled slices of chicken, mixed greens and a pear-mango salsa. The crunchy pear was a perfect combination for the sweet and melts-in-the-mouth mango cubes.
|Cafe Havana's Mangalaya|
Mangalaya is made of diced mangoes, black beans and ginger puree. At first sight this salad is ordinary but the flavors explode in the mouth with every bite. The sweet mangoes were swirling in my mouth and a contrast to the firm pieces of black beans and gingery greens.
|Heart of Palm with Mango & Shrimp Salad served by Lorenzo's Way|
At Lorenzo’s Way, I refreshed myself with a tall glass of ripe mango juice and tasted a light salad, the Heart of Palm with Mango and Shrimp Salad. This is the first time that I have tasted ubod (heart of palm) as a salad and not as fried Lumpiang Ubod (Spring Rolls). It was a pleasant surprise that these two ingredients would blend well in one delightful salad.
For the main course, I had the chance of dining at one of Manila’s best restaurant hotels, EDSA Shangri-la’s Summer Palace served two amazing mango dishes. I’ve forgotten what the names were (yes, they were that good that I forgot to jot it down!) but one dish was a well-roasted duck, sliced alternately with ripe mangoes.
|Prawns & Mango Salad from EDSA Shangri-La's Summer Palace|
The other dish was made of hefty pieces of succulent prawns cooked to perfection then mixed with crunchy cereals and diced ripe mangoes. These two inventive dishes that made our Philippine carabao mangoes shine with the main ingredients.
|LJC's Sikreto ni Maria|
Another LJC restaurant offers a classic dessert that most Filipinos would love to have after being inspired from a travel from Antipolo. Sikreto ni Maria Clara from its presentation is just a bowl of macapuno ice cream. To the unsuspecting diner, what lurks inside is a yummy combination of suman (glutinous rice cooked in sugar and coconut cream) and thick slices of rich tasting mangoes then topped with some Indian panocha bits. This simple yet irresistible dessert is available at Fely J’s Kitchen and Bistro Remedios.
|Mango Ice Cream from Sebastian's Cold Comfort|
For more desserts, Sebastian’s Cold Comfort created an addicting mango ice cream selection served with generous slices of ripe mangoes, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with mango puree.
|Gelatone's Mango Gelato|
Wanting an alternative to ice cream, Gelatone’s mango gelato is simply tempting. Whether you order a scoop or two, you will definitely be back for more of this scrumptious gelato.
|White Hat's Italian Frozen Yogurt Topped With Fresh Mango Bits|
If you fancy a healthier version, The White Hat’s Italian frozen yogurt may be served with fresh cubes of ripe mangoes.
|Mango Tarts from Rowena's Cafe|
When in the bucolic ridge of Tagaytay, you can grab some Mango Tarts at Rowena’s Café, which serves a variety of fruit-based freshly baked tarts that resembles an apple cobbler.
Manileños in search of Guimaras mangoes, you need not go as far as the province as Guimaras mangoes are flown in on a weekly basis at Oyster Boy. I’ve had the luck of savoring two mouth-watering creations. Manga-Talaba Salad with mango slices, aligue, salted eggs, fresh tomatoes and drizzled with sinamak (spiced vinegar).
|Oyster Boy's Mango Float|
For dessert, I tried their luscious Mango Float. The rich creamy mixture complemented by the pleasant, sweet and tender mangoes. If I had not restrained myself, I could have ordered a dozen as it was extremely addicting.
|Dried Mangoes from Cebu City|
When in the Queen City of the South, I never miss to bring home a variety of mango produce from candies like mango balls and mango-tamarind balls, dried mangoes of at least three brands, and bottles of mango puree.
|Don Roberto's Mango Wine|
Further proof of mango’s versatility is Don Roberto’s Mango Wine. Competing with the grape wines in the world market, the mango wines coming from both the ripe and green mangoes have reached the global market. Roberto “Oby” Castañeda makes use of the Luzon producing mango farms from Zambales and Bataan during the months of January to June and uses the mangoes from Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro, which he claims are similar with Luzon produce, during the months of July to December.
|Fresh Philippine Mango|
But no matter how versatile our national fruit is, mangoes will forever be best enjoyed at its barest. The moment you get a glimpse of its pleasing golden yellow colored skin, to peeling off the thin skin layers and consuming its juicy, tender fruit complimented by its delicate fragrance – you are simply transported into a world like no other – of pure unabashed eating bliss.
Savor the Philippine Mangoes from these establishments :
Sebastian’s Cold Comfort
The White Hat
Don Roberto’s Wine
LJC Group of Restaurants :
Some Photos By Pie Rivera
Photos By Mike S. Caballes : Dishes From LJC Group, Oyster Boy, The White Hat, Sebastian’s Ice Cream,
Photos By Ronald Concepcion : Dishes From Summer Palace & Rowena’s Cafe
Mango Wine Provided By Don Roberto’s
Green Mangoes & Mango Trees Provided By The Farm In Antipolo City
I am sure by now you know how much I LOVE MANGOES! This is definitely a part of my Monday Madness feature here at Eat To Your Heart’s Content!
This post is an excerpt of my article Loco About Mangoes published at Republic of 7107 Island Travel Magazine.
Thank you for checking this food blog, commenting, connecting and for allowing me to share with you all my food adventures around the Philippines. I hope you continue to join me as I search for more deliriously delicious dining destinations and food discoveries.
Pie Rivera is a food columnist of Republic of 7107 Island Travel Magazine. For subscriptions to the magazine, you may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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