The Waikiki Insider: For the Love of Mango!

July 3, 2013 | By Mona Wood-Sword


It’s mango season in Hawai’i, and with more than 60 varieties grown here we have lots of tasty reasons to celebrate. So why not do it in style at the Westin Moana Surfrider’s fifth Annual Mangoes at the Moana 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on July 13. The free event will feature all things mango, including food and activity booths, recipe contests, cooking demos and mango cocktails. Find out more by calling (808) 922-3111.

I prefer eating ripe mango dipped in shoyu (or soy sauce) and pepper, while others prefer salt or a shoyu-vinegar mix. My husband peels his mango like a banana and just eats it as nature intended. But no matter how you like it, mangoes are among the most delicious fruits in the world, while also being super-healthy. They are bursting with antioxidants and more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. Each one-cup serving of mango provides 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C, 35 percent of your daily Vitamin A, 12 percent of your daily fiber—and all at only 100 calories! Mangos are also fat-, cholesterol- and sodium-free.

I spent most of my childhood climbing the mango tree in our back yard— and our ‘ohana‘s current generation of keiki seem to gravitate to that tree’s welcoming branches, as well. She continues to share her fruit so generously with us to this day, which we gratefully accept. There are a few mango trees in Waikiki, but in neighboring Kapahulu and Kaimuki neighborhoods, many homes boast a mango tree. Aloha spirit dictates sharing your bounty with neighbors, friends and family, so being friends with a mango tree owner will prove to be especially sweet this time of year. People get busy making pickled mango and mango jams, jellies, muffins and breads.

As I write this, I can almost smell the delicious, nostalgic aroma of my grandmother’s mango bread baking in the oven. Minutes felt like an eternity as I waited for the timer to ring, and I drooled as I watched grandma put a toothpick into the soft center, hoping it would come out clean, which meant the bread was finally ready. And when it was, I got a warm, thick slab and smothered butter on it and bit into a slice of pure heaven.

Grandma’s recipe got lost over the years, but I found one that seems quite similar from my mom’s copy of A Hundred Years of Island Cooking (1991) published by the Hawaiian Electric Company. Check it out and create your own mango memories!

Make Mango Bread

2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups chopped ripe mango
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup salad oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Sift flour with baking soda and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, coconut and nuts. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until done. Makes 1 loaf.