Friday, January 29, 2010

The Spice Necklace: Mango Chow Recipe

While it seems somewhat ill-timed that a book about sailing through the Caribbean be promoted during the horrific aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, I can honestly tell you that The Spice Necklace will bring people a warm-hearted picture of the land and people of the area. The descriptions of Ann’s travels, the people, and the foods she encounters are simply astounding, and will make readers want to plan their own Caribbean adventure.

I think you will love this recipe from the book, and I hope that you’ll take a peek at the author’s website at Check out her photo galleries – they’re stunning!

Meandering from island to island by sailboat, Ann Vanderhoof takes readers along as she gathers nutmeg in Grenada, hunts crabs and freshwater crayfish in the mountains of Dominica, and obsesses about oregano-eating goats in the Dominican Republic. Along the way, she is befriended by a collection of unforgettable island characters who share with her their own delicious recipes.
mango chow

by Ann Vanderhoof, author of The Spice Necklace

This is probably the all-time favorite snack on Receta. It’s quick to make, requires only five ingredients, and can be adapted to whatever fruit is in season. The recipe is meant to be only a general guideline: “Make it to your taste,” the Trinis say.

2 unripe or half-ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced (see Tips, below)
¼ cup finely chopped chadon beni or cilantro
¼ to ½ Scotch bonnet or other finely chopped hot pepper (preferably red, for color)
2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
½ lime

1. Place mangoes in a serving bowl. Add some of each of the remaining ingredients and toss well.

2. Taste and adjust balance of hot/tart/salty/sweet by adding more of the ingredients as you please. Serve with toothpicks to accompany drinks.

Makes 4 to 6 snack-size servings.

• While an authentic Trini chow uses completely unripe fruit, we like it with just a hint of sweetness and use mangoes that are about half ripe.

• Try the same technique with cucumbers, wedges of mandarin orange (the Trinis use a similar fruit called “portugals” in season), pomme cytheres (also called golden apples) or any half-ripe crisp fruit such as pineapple, guavas, or even unripe peaches or tart green apples.

Excerpted from The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof Copyright © 2009 by Ann Vanderhoof. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.

Photo © Steve Manley


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