Book Review

The Mongo Mango Cookbook:
And Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mangos

by Cynthia Thuma

Pineapple Press, 2001. $12.95 (paperback). ISBN 1-56164-239-8.
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Reviewed by Benjamin Kuo (3/2002)

The Mongo Mango Cookbook promises to deliver "everything you ever wanted to know about mangos"--and attempts to cover as much as it can within its 140-plus pages. Covering everything from the history of the mango in the United States to different kinds of mangos, this book offers many recipes and much of the background of mangos.

Recipes include salads, main dishes and appetizers, but the bulk of them are desserts, alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, and "icy treats." There are lots of ideas here--from Mango Mousse, Spiced Stewed Mangos, to Mango Milkshake, Tropical Lassi, to Mango Granita and Ice Pops.

The cookbook has a fair amount of supporting material, including a complete bibliography, lists of garden clubs and other resources, and a list of mango festivals. An interesting appendix includes a list of hundreds of mango varieties across the world; unfortunately, it furnishes only names and no descriptions or other information about them. The author even includes a section with notes about the history of mangos in various countries, although this information is a bit random.

I would like to have seen more in the way of main dishes, and a better distribution of types of recipes, and it felt like much of the information was included in the book primarily because the author had collected it. However, for the cook who is looking to complete a collection of recipes for dealing with a windfall of mangos, The Mongo Mango Cookbook offers more options and ideas, and is a good resource for mango desserts.

Here is a mango milkshake recipe, published with permission from Jane Cussen, executive editor of Pineapple Press.

Mango Milkshake with Cream of Coconut

6 ounces milk
2 ounces coconut cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 medium mango, cut into chunks
1/2 pint vanilla ice cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toasted shredded coconut
Place all ingredients except coconut in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and sprinkle top of each drink with toasted coconut. Makes 2 services.

© Copyright 2002, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
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