(BPT) – Ayesha Curry was raised by great women who instilled in her a passion for cooking. This passion has helped Ayesha both launch her career and prioritize spending time with her family in the kitchen. But even as a celebrity chef, author and foodie, Ayesha sometimes struggles to think of new, wholesome and delicious meals to bring to her table. When she finds herself needing a little food inspiration, Ayesha turns to the experiences and flavors of her childhood.
Mango love runs deep
Ayesha grew up with a Jamaican grandmother who had mango trees in her backyard, so eating and cooking with the fruit reminds her of home. A lot of people don’t know this, but mango is the world’s most popular fruit and iconic in many cuisines across the globe. While its sweetness and versatility make it a perfect addition to any favorite dish, mango is also delicious on its own and is often simply paired with the spices of the country.
In Ayesha’s home, not only does everyone love mango for its incredible flavor, but because it’s a superfruit. At 100 calories per cup, mangos are packed with vitamins and nutrients, and are a good source of fiber, making them a perfect food for any family.
Make it with mango!
When Ayesha is in the mood for something special and with a little cultural flare, she whips up her Jerk-Rubbed Chicken Skewers and Mango Salsa. Jerk chicken is a family-favorite recipe for Ayesha, and adding the sweet flavor of mango gives it a delicious twist.
Jerk-Rubbed Chicken Skewers with Mango Salsa
Servings: 4-6 skewers
2 cups mango, chopped
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tbs lime juice
1 tsp jalapeno, finely diced
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
Jerk Chicken Rub & Skewers
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves, finely minced
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 pound chicken breast, cubed
Skewers, soaked in water
Combine all ingredients. Let sit and allow flavors to meld while you prepare the chicken.
Jerk Chicken Rub & Skewers
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Coat cubed chicken well with the rub. Marinate for 30 minutes or more. Skewer 4-6 pieces of chicken per stick. Cook on a grill pan at medium high heat. Turn frequently to avoid burning. Cook for about 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Place the chicken on or off the skewer and spoon the Mango Salsa on top.
Get your hands on a perfect mango
Mangos are available year-round, so you can always get your hands on a perfect mango. If you’d like to make mango your go-to ingredient, here are some tips and tricks Ayesha shares with family and friends:
- Selection. To find a ripe mango, just squeeze gently. A ripe mango will be slightly soft like a peach or avocado.
- Ripening. Keep unripe mangos at room temperature. Once ripe, mangos can be moved to the refrigerator to slow down ripening for several days.
- Cutting. To cut a mango, simply slice off the sides of the fruit, avoiding the large seed in the center. Once you have these two sides, you can slice or dice as needed. Then, simply scoop it out of the skin. You can also cut around the seed to get two extra slices of mango and let your kids gnaw on the seed!
Mangos at the grocery store
While there are many mango varieties to covet, Ayesha’s kids love Honey mangos because they’re super sweet and creamy! Here’s a quick look at the most common mango varieties you’ll find in U.S. grocery stores:
Honey. Sweet, creamy and vibrant yellow. Small wrinkles appear when fully ripe. Peak availability is March – June.
Francis. Rich, spicy and sweet, with yellow skin and green overtones. Peak availability is April – June.
Haden. Rich in flavor with fine fibers, often bright red with green and yellow overtones. Peak availability is March – May.
Keitt. Sweet and fruity, with juicy flesh, limited fibers and green skin. Peak availability is July – September.
Kent. Sweet and rich, dark green mangos with red blush. Peak availability is December – February and June – August.
Tommy Atkins. Mild and sweet, these dark red mangos are the most widely grown variety coming into the U.S. Peak availability is March – July and September – October.
Who will you share the mango love with today?
Visit www.mango.org for additional information on mango nutrition, selection tips, cutting methods and much more.
* PART 1 of 2: We take you on a trip to the private grove estate of Dr. Richard Campbell, Ph.D. & his family in Homestead, FL. We were honored to be invited into his personal grove collection, filled with history & the tastiest/most complex-flavored mango varieties that Richard, himself, carefully crafted with his own grafting hands during his days working as a curator at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables.
These days, when he’s not working with the Ciruli Brothers, he’s working on projects of his own, with the help of his grown sons & you will get to hear a bit about his intentions & approach in both of the parts. He plays an important role in the “Fruit Hunters” documentary & has written a wide range of publications. If you have ever been in search of grafting videos or pruning videos or anything else fruit tropical fruit tree related, you have likely seen Dr. Campbell’s work. He is a legend, or as we call him “The Mango Master.” Stick around for part 2, where Dr. Campbell talks about establishing a young tree, rules on setting fruit in early years & his favorite mango varieties. His son, Thiago Campbell, is also featured in this clip. We will also be wrapping up the next video with the most incredible mango tasting we’ve ever had in our lives & some gorgeous drone footage!
Here is a recent write-up to give you an extra glimpse into his recent acclaims: http://bit.ly/2u2QGm9
If you would like information on purchasing his Mangos, you can contact him at mangomenhomesteadFL@gmail.com
Also with us on this mini-tour is our fruit hunting YouTuber friend, Matt Reece, along with his wife, Julie & his son Owen. You can find the whole family over at his channel: What’s Ripening? http://bit.ly/2tCd1V7
We are experimenting with several mango varieties in our farm, 30 miles north of Tampa & have also installed many Mango trees for our clients in the surrounding area. To learn about our services and nursery inventory, you can find that here:
World’s Best Mango Tour & Tasting with Dr. Richard Campbell (The Mango Master)