[Photo of PB Steak via Facebook]
Summer in Miami. Sure, the temps hover around the mid-80s for, like, 360 days of the year. But there's something distinctive about June, July and August around these parts. Could have something to do with all of those lusciously ripe mangoes hanging around. And we've got over 200 hundred varieties of the sweet, tropical fruit growing here. Sounds like something you should be taking advantage of. So in that spirit, we asked some local chefs to let us in on how they like to prep and eat their mangoes. 'Tis the season.
Jose Mendin, Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, PB Steak: I love mango sorbet. It's a Puerto Rican classic that is sold all over the island from bicycle carts. I love to make fresh mango sorbet to accompany dishes or desserts at the restaurants... and at home, I love mango smoothies.
Michael Pirolo, Macchialina: There's nothing better than getting fresh, ripe mangoes and making granita (an Italian treat somewhere in between a sorbet and a slushy.) Light and refreshing, it really beats the heat. [Photo]
Giorgio Rapicavoli, Eating House: My favorite way to eat a mango is green! I like it with a lot of lime juice and salt...it's full of texture and crunch."
Allen Susser, Daily Melt: My favorite way to eat a mango is when it is juicy and lush. I carefully peel off the outer skin with a small sharp knife and devour the flesh with a pinch of sea salt and generous dash of cayenne pepper.
Brian Nasajon, SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach: I enjoy mango as a component of a killer salad that also includes, cucumbers, lime juice, cumin, cilantro, sea salt, and scorching amounts of charred jalapeños. I cry while I'm eating it, but it is so delicious, I literally can't stop.
Michael Jacobs, Hidden Kitchen and Food Service Provider for the Miami Heat: We use mango in our 'White Hot' Heat Mango and Banana Protein Smoothie for the morning breakfast buffet we do with the Miami Heat team!
Jouvens Jean, Pierre's at Morada Bay in Islamorada: Get two really ripe mangos and make a puree with them. Add some brown sugar, a little bit of salt, and a little mayo until it gets creamy. Stir in one finely diced scotch bonnet pepper and plenty of chopped cilantro. Then use it to dip fried yucca...forget about it! This is the island version of ketchup and fries.
Doug Sisk, Social Club at Surfcomber: Mango smoothie with almond and agave is a great way to cool off in the summer time heat!
Oscar del Rivero, Jaguar Ceviche, Talavera and Peacock Garden Café: I love to cube my mangoes, then mix them with fresh lime juice, chile piquin powder, red onion, chopped mint and a touch of olive oil. I then add cubes of avocado and toss the mixture into my salad.
Scott Barrow, Devon Seafood + Steak: I like to take mango and make a mango sorbet which goes great with our key lime pie. Also love to use it in our fish tacos, it gives nice texture and flavor to accompany the Achiote marinated tilapia. Personally, I enjoy using mango to make relishes.
— Jackie Gutierrez-Jones