Ask Abuela: What should I do with all these mangos?

Summertime is mango season in Miami, and that means we’re all whipping out our blenders to make batidos. It’s the time of year when the mango becomes a form of currency and a steady pile of delicious fruit begins to grow in the office, the kitchen, and the car.

Don’t bother shopping at Publix (pronounced poob-lee) – odds are you have a neighbor or a cousin or a coworker with a backyard full of them.

Mango season also means it’s time to start pondering that age-old question:

“What do I do with all these mangos?”

We’ve decided there’s no one better than a group of abuelitas and abuelitos to teach us all about the many possibilities mangos have to offer.

We’ve rounded up some mouthwatering mango recipes straight from some of Miami’s most experienced mango connoisseurs. Funnily enough, arroz con mango didn’t make the list…

To maintain authenticity and that Miami flair  we love, we’ve included the direct quotes as they were spoken in Spanish with an English translation.

Ask Abuela Hernandez-BarriosRomelia Hernandez-Barrios, 75

Abuelita Romelia knows when life gives you mangos, you make marmalade, shakes, and ice cream.

“Se hace helado. Tu bates la pulpa de mango, hechas una latica de leche evaporada — o, si te gusta, condensada — y esa pulpa la congelas y haces helado de mango y… entonces, bueno ya no puedo decirte mas nada, jaja.”

“You make ice cream, mix up the pulp of the mango, add a can of evaporated milk — or, if you like, condensed — and then freeze the mixture and make mango ice cream, and… well, I can’t tell you anything else, haha.” 

Ask Abuela Cita
Abuelita Livia “Cita” Fernandez, 81

This isn’t Abuelita Cita’s first mango rodeo. She knows exactly what it takes to make mango season last.

“Lo tienes que congelar, eso es el secreto. Congelas el mango en esas bolsas pequeñitas que venden para que puedas hacer jugo todo el año. Llena el congelador y los mangos nunca se acabaran.”

“You have to freeze them, that’s the secret. Freeze them in those tiny little plastic bags they sell so you can make juice all year long. Fill up the freezer with them and they’ll never run out.”

Ask Abuela GrauJosefina Grau, 73

Abuelita Josefina suggested using mangos in a fruit salad.

“Mezclado con otras frutas — ensalada. Ayer hice, por ejemplo, mango, melón, fruta bomba — como decimos nosotros papaya — piña, y si hay platanito banana, y también se echa jugo naranja.”

“Mixed up with other fruits — salad. Yesterday I made, for example, mango, melon, papaya, pineapple, if there is banana, and you also add orange juice.”

Ask Abuelo ReinosoAbuelo Juan Reinoso, 71

Abuelo Juan literally enjoys the fruit of his labor, as his passion for mangos lies in growing the fruit as well as eating it. He noted that mango salsa is a tasty addition to seafood, but a classic, sliced, sweet preparation can’t be beat.

“Se hace dulce de mango en tajadas, sliced, con un sirope bien light, porque ello de por si tienen azucar. Se le echa canela y se cocina. Y la mermelada de mango es deliciosa. La pones ahí con pan — es una locura para coger mil libras.”

“You make sweet mango slices with a very light syrup because it definitely has sugar. Add cinnamon and cook. And the mango marmalade is delicious. You put it there on bread — it’s crazy good for gaining a thousand pounds.”

Ask Abuela MartinezAbuela Victoria Martinez, 77

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you know I went straight to the source and consulted my very own Abi Victoria on her mango faves: shakes, marmalade and pie.

“Para la mermelada, le quitas la masa a los mangos, lo aplastas, le echas azucar con un poquito de canela, y entonces lo revuelves, lo revuelves hasta que se haga como una pasta. Y con eso se hace mermelada. Y eso mismo lo puedes usar para hacer un pie. Compras la parte de abajo que le venden hecha ya, pones la mermelada arriba y ya tienes el pie de mango. El mango es rico en todo. Es fácil, es fácil.”

“For marmalade, you remove the bulk of the mangos, you crush it, add sugar with a little bit of cinnamon, and then you mix it, mix it until it becomes like a paste. And with that you’ve make marmalade. And that same mix you can use to make pie. Buy the ready-made crust that they sell in the store, add the marmalade on top, and then you have a mango pie. Mango is delicious in everything. It’s easy, it’s easy.”