The Philippine Mango, particularly the carabao mango, is one of my favorite fruits of all time. It’s sweet and quite filling – I can eat one fruit and be quite contented. I also love having it with salad, either its bits or as a mango vinaigrette dressing. Back in the university, I’d do a trip to the BioSci or PhySci buildings to buy myself green indian mango with bagoong (shrimp paste). Lastly, a trip to the beach is always made extra special when there’s a glass of fresh mango shake.
So I read online that because of the El Nino climate phenomenon in the Philippines, where the hot and dry season happens for an extended period of time in the year, there’s a surplus of mango produce that the government is helping farmers sell at a way much cheaper price. While this is supposedly good news for mango lovers like me, I care more for the farmers whose livelihoods are impacted because of this. When my friend posted on Facebook that she’s harvested several baskets or “kaings” of mangoes from their farm, I readily raised my hand to be one of her buyers. So one Sunday morning after my morning walk with D at Filinvest, Alabang, we drove off to Laguna to pick up the kaing of mangoes that I bought for five hundred pesos (US $10). The kaing weighed 15 kilos.
As soon as the mangoes became ripe, we popped them into the freezer. And then my cousin made his specialty: mango graham cake. To make this no-bake ref cake, he layered graham crackers and mangoes with condensed milk and all purpose cream mixture. He made several layers of this and popped it in the fridge to cool. When it was time for afternoon tea, viola! We finished this awesome sweet treat in just one sitting.