The annual university-level basketball tournament is under way, and in a few weeks one team will be crowned champion. The media hype is already at an all-time high, and the frenzy will only accelerate as the Final Four meet and one team emerges victorious.
There’s not a single word about mangos in all this intense coverage, though. Odd, don’t you think?
After all, the mango is produced and consumed around the world. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines, with the mango tree standing as the national tree of Bangladesh. I suppose that makes the mango the national fruit for more humans than any other. You think that would warrant some consideration during the NCAA tournament.
Maybe it’s a sign of our jaded times, or something. But I digress…
So what’s really with the mangos? Pepper jelly, of course! With mango such a popular flavor, how could I resist? So I gathered some mangos from the grocer’s and
sat there like a goober, staring at those odd-shaped orbs, trying to divine how to get the good stuff out read this website about how to cut a mango. Of course, I’d seen the Hercule Poirot episode where he masterfully cuts and serves a mango. I decided to use a sharp knife, cutting all around the mango along the edge of the pit, then I used a tablespoon à la Poirot to remove the pit from the two halves. But rather than score the flesh and make two “hedgehogs” from the halves, I simply used the tablespoon to scoop the ripe mango meat out of the skin. It was easy, rather like scooping avocado out of a half. I just started the edge of the spoon at the inside of the skin, and pushed. Easy peasy.
Next I used a paring knife to remove any extra flesh that might have been left on the pits. I didn’t really try to clean the pit all the way down, as the fruit close to the pit isn’t the best-tasting (to me) anyway. But I clearly got most of the fruit free from pits and skins.
After that, making the jelly was easy. I pulse-processed the fruit in my food chopper, then I processed down some habaneros. Because this was my first try with mango, I chose to deseed the habs first. I added a gold-colored bell pepper too. Then I added a few chunks of pineapple from a stash I had in the fridge. When I put the jelly together in the pot (fruit, peppers, pineapple, sugar, Stevia concentrate) I used a cup of lemon juice and about a half-cup of pineapple juice for acid and bulk. I added a few spices: cinnamon, ground cloves, fresh ginger, a bit of cardamom and nutmeg. Finally, when the mixture was boiling strongly and the sugar had dissolved, I added pectin (in a bit of sugar). I boiled for another minute or two, then removed the pot from heat.
Canning went as usual, and I found myself with 8 half-pints of a lovely, yellow-orange jelly. I named it Mango Pango, just for fun. (Alliteration is fun, right?)
I found this jelly to have a great tropical fruit taste, rather like a jellied drink. I kept looking for the little umbrella. The heat is uniform, and not strong. That’s pretty typical of deseeded habaneros, and even though I used something like 16, they’re spread out into 8 jars of jelly.
Next batch, more heat! I’ll simply grind the habanero chiles after removing the stems. Then we’ll see…
Enjoy the (Tropical Treat) Heat!
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