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Champagne Mangoes

The Champagne Mango

I absolutely LOVE mangoes and in the last few years I have been enjoying the small, yellow Champagne Mangoes also known as  the Ataulfo mango from Mexico.  These have a soft, sweet and very juicy taste that's rich with that wonderful ripe mango fragrance.  They are far less fibrous than the larger Tommy Atkins variety.  Mangoes are rich in vitamins A, B, C and fiber.

I think I got my love for mangoes from my father.  We used to buy them by the case and keep them in the basement to ripen.  So far, I've purchased 2 cases of Champagne Mangoes this season and they do ripen beautifully in our dark, cool basement.  My husband doesn't care for mangoes, so I have them all to myself :-)   The only problem is that they all ripen at once so when they are ready -- it's feast time!

The Champagne mango season is May to early August.  I still have a few more months of delicious eating to go!

A neat way to serve mangoes is to cut the flesh off either side of the pit with a sharp knife.  The pit is flat at the widest part of the fruit.  Holding a piece that was sliced off, make evenly spaced diagonal cuts in a diamond design through the flesh, but not into the skin.  Do the same on both pieces.

Holding a mango piece in your hands, push the center up so that the skin flips up and the mango pieces separate and stand up -- looking like a porcupine's back.  Serve as is, scooping out the cubes with a spoon or slice off the cubes with a knife and serve them in a dessert dish.

Don't waste any of the delicious flesh remaining around the pit. Peel off what's left of the skin around the mango pit and enjoy.  I consider it the cook's reward!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you can write a few more blog articles soon Helen, it's been too long and I thoroughly enjoy reading the topics you choose.

    By the way mangoes are some of my favorite fruits! Living in the Caribbean, I can eat them much more often than people in other regions.



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Like so many of us, Helen Chen learned to cook at her mother's side. But few of us had a mother like Joyce Chen. Helen grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her mother prepared the authentic dishes of her native Shanghai and Beijing with the sort of regularity the rest of us came to expect of macaroni and cheese or meatloaf.

"I remember when I was little, watching my mother prepare meals for family and friends. I once wrote a list of my favorite Chinese dishes," Helen recalls, "I came up with 150 recipes. I do not have one or two favorites. All the dishes on the list are traditional and all are ones that I learned from my mother. That is what I love most about Chinese food: its variety. Taste, texture and color all come into play, as does personality and culture. I think this is what cooking is all about."

Soft spoken and intensely intelligent, Helen Chen was born in Shanghai and moved to the U.S. with her family while still a baby. Helen grew up, as she describes it, in a traditional Chinese-American household. "When I was young I wanted to be totally American," she remembers. "It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized how lucky I was to have two cultures."

Today, Helen Chen is a widely acknowledged expert in Chinese cooking. Besides her role as an educator and cookbook author, she also is a corporate spokesperson and business consultant to the house wares industry. In 2007 she created and developed a new line of Asian kitchenware under the brand name Helen’s Asian Kitchen®, expressly for Harold Import Company in New Jersey.

Having been born in China and raised and educated in the United States, Helen brings the best of both worlds to her approach to the art of Chinese cuisine. She understands the needs of the American cook as only a native can, yet she is intimately knowledgeable in the culinary practices and philosophy of China.

In her active role as a teacher and educator, Helen teaches Chinese cuisine at Boston University; and, through the Anderson Foundation’s enrichment program ‘Cooking Up Culture’ she teaches Boston area school children from grades 1-12 about Chinese cuisine and culture. She also teaches Asian cuisine in numerous cooking schools across the country.

Helen has lectured to various professional and culinary organizations such as the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Boston University Seminars in the Arts and Culinary Arts, Oldways Preservations and Exchange Trust, Small Business Development Center, The Culinary Historians of Boston, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and the Culinary Guild of New England. In addition, she conducts culinary tours of Boston’s Chinatown and is a frequent guest chef at cooking schools around the U.S.

Helen is the author of Helen Chen’s Chinese Home Cooking (Hearst Books, 1994), Peking Cuisine (Orion Books,1997) and Helen’s Asian Kitchen: Easy Chinese Stir-Fries (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). A second book in the Helen’s Asian Kitchen series, Helen’s Asian Kitchen: Easy Asian Noodles is scheduled for publication in January, 2010.