When the sign goes up announcing
a sale on papayas, guavas, bananas, avocados,
it is already too late.
The people have begun to paint
their slogan on the walls —
MANGOES O MUERTE

— Neal Bower

I was going to follow yesterday’s post about salad with another since I just spent time with my 14-year old nephew in North Carolina, a young man who claimed he didn’t eat salad, didn’t like salad, wouldn’t eat salad, until I convinced him otherwise with the force of my salads. But enough with the salad. We’ve got plenty of time for salad.

Today it’s mangoes because I got an email from an old flame who now lives with a Miss Thailand in Chiang Mai where they run a restaurant that specialize in khao soi, a kind of North Thailand comfort food. He won’t give me their recipe so if anyone has a khao soi recipe that’s to die for - that they’ll swear by - please send it to me and tell me how you got it because I can’t get his.
For today, though, it’s mangoes.

Flush with the many varieties of mangoes Thailand produces, my friend was wondering what to do with them which made him wonder why there wasn’t a mango pie, mango turnovers, mango fritters. He decided that those things were European and that’s why there was no Thai culinary history full of mango pies, cakes, etc.

Piffle, I say. You want a mango pie, make a mango pie. You want a mango fritter, make mango fritters, and cobblers, and pancakes, too. The mango and the pie may have been geographically incompatible historically, but there is no reason for them not to come together today in our global village.

The internet is loaded with recipes for mango smoothies, pies, green mango pies, fresh mango cobblers, mango fritters, mango chutneys and salsa. If you can make it from apples, you can probably make it from mangoes.

But since I’ve just been south and the South means moon pies, I thought I’d tackle something I haven’t yet found in cyberspace: Mango moon pie.

Mango Moon Pie
I prefer making my own mango puree in a food processor, but you can use store bought mango puree as well. You’ll need a big cookie sheet, sprayed with cooking oil or greased with butter. A Silpat baking mat eliminates the need to grease and speeds the cooking. You can also substitute vanilla extract for the coconut extract. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Moons:

½ cup softened butter
1 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned milk
½ cup mango puree
1 cup flour
½ salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar together until light. Add egg , canned milk, coconut extract and mix well. Stir in mango puree. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Add flour mixture. A quarter cup at a time, to mango mixture. Don’t over mix. Think muffins, not cake. Dough will look runny, but trust me, this works.

For big cookies, drop rounded tablespoons on a greased cookie sheet. Leave 3-4 inches between because these babies will spread. A teaspoon makes big but more refined looking cookie.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Your cookie should be puffy on top. Store in refrigerator until you’re ready to fill.

Filling:

½ cup softened butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp coconut extract
¼ cup pureed mango
1 ½ cup marshmallow cream

Blend together until satiny smooth.
Put 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom of the pie — not the puffy part-and cover with the bottom of another pie. There you have it. Mango moon pies.

Today, mangoes can show up anywhere in the USA as testified by Neal Bower’s wonderful poem —

Trouble in a Minnesota Town

The sign in the grocery window says,
NO MANGOES,
and everyone who passes
is seized with a tropical longing:
the sun sets hot orange;
a dense perfume
loiters along the street;
on the tongue is the memory
of something softer than spun honey.

Before daylight, the whole town
is mad for the flavor of mangoes.
A spicy sweetness, almost a cross
between cloves and ginger,
lodges in the brain like a stuck tune.
By noon the record shop
has sold out of calypso albums;
reggae and salsa are going fast.
In the square, someone is showing how
to dance the mambo, the rumba,
pleading for a partner to tango,
por favor, por favor.

When the sign goes up announcing
a sale on papayas, guavas, bananas, avocados,
it is already too late.
The people have begun to paint
their slogan on the walls–
MANGOES O MUERTE–
and the mayor has received
a list of demands:
Mangoes.
Mangoes.
Mangoes.
Mangoes.

Till next time.

Melkam Megeb. Bon appetit. Buen provecho. Mànmàn chī! Guten Appetit! Dober tek! Selamat makan! Nush olsun! Svādiṣṭ khānā