home is where the mango is

For two full weeks, I am home.

yep, that’s a dolphin!

That means lots of basking in the sun, catching up with family and friends, and of course, enjoying the vibrant flavors that Miami has to offer.

There is perhaps no food that screams summer in Miami to me like mangoes. When I was in middle school, my aunt’s family moved into a to a house ten minutes from mine with a mango tree in the backyard (not an uncommon occurrence here). Every June, the tree burst with bright orange fruits. In their ripened state, they plopped to the ground in such rapid succession that they had to collect fruits every morning, noon, and night. In its most prolific year, the tree produced over 300 mangoes in the span of a few weeks! Despite my aunt’s quest to make endless batches of mango salsa, bake loaves of mango bread, and freeze Ziploc bags full of fruit for future mango margaritas, I still received daily phone calls from her begging me to come take mangoes off her hands. For the whole month of June, our kitchen was laced with the intoxicating sweet perfume of ripe mangoes and my cuticles were stained yellow-orange. I ate mangoes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snack. And when the tree had finally exhausted its supply, I had filled my stomach with its mango quota for the year.


Having spent this June in Chicago, I regrettably missed Miami’s mango season (although I hear it was an unfortunately paltry one—maybe it was trying to not make me too jealous). Upon returning home this week, I had a hankering to fill my summer-long mango void with mango salsa, the most popular use for mangoes among our family. This salsa comes together with just a few fresh ingredients and is delicious on anything from tortilla chips, to seafood, to straight off a spoon. We enjoyed it on Sunday night with grilled jerk chicken skewers and my Abuela’s black beans (two more amazing dishes that deserve their own post another time!)

It’s good to be home.

Mango Salsa

2 large mangoes, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 4 limes
Salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
Optional additions for a heartier version: 1 can drained black beans, 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

Mix all ingredients together. Allow salsa to sit covered in fridge for at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

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