We were very surprised to make the discovery that mangoes are not an indigenous crop! They arrived in Mexico in the late 18th Century on ships that also bore items of luxury and refinement from China. Along the trade route, a lot of stuff was picked up and delivered to destinations on the west coast of Mexico. In the Chinese quest for Mexican silver, they traded such sought after treasures as fine silk; precious ivory (which we are happy to say has now been banned from all import/export traffic); porcelain, (which Mexicans have perfected in their own style); and the introduction of spices that would blend with native flavors and meld into the food culture.
The mango we are most familiar with here in Puerto Vallarta is the Manila, which was the result of vessels making stops in the Philippines. There are others, such as the Criollo, Haden, Francine, Kent and Keitt. They are all delicious and their uses are boundless, though none of them originated in Mexico.
We now have a chance to learn all the various applications of cooking with the mango at the First Annual Puerto Vallarta Mango Festival. You may be as excited as we are to attend this event on July 1 from 4 pm – 9 pm in Parque Lazaro Cardenas, the same place in Puerto Vallarta where the market is held in high season. There will be many local vendors and establishments presenting a huge variety of dishes, toppings and sauces.
You have seen fish-on-a-stick in Puerto Vallarta but have you seen the way they can peel and offer a mango-on-a-stick? With a sprinkle of chili powder, this is one of our favorite midday treats while walking the Malecón, and we are about to discover what all can be done to enhance and enjoy the essence of our much loved mango. This summertime festival is sponsored by the Jay Sadler Project, which is a group effort to make improvements in the surrounding community. Their focus is the protection, advancement of safety and health of the children of Puerto Vallarta. We hope to see you at the First Annual Puerto Vallarta Mango Festival to support this fabulous effort.
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