Friday, April 03, 2009

Breakfast #27: Kesong Puti & Mango Jam Melt

title
Summer is here! Once again the asphalt sizzles, the heat is just this side of unbearable, and our thoughts turn to keeping cool. In Manila, summer for me means unbearable city heat trapped between buildings and turning my little flat into an oven...while I dream of the blue skies, white sands, and crystal seas that surround our islands, but seem so far away from my immediate urban reality.

As I sit here with my dreams, hoping to squeeze some beach trips between the piles of work that know no such thing as a “summer holiday”, one very summery promise wafts through the warm air...the scent of ripening mangoes. Mangoes here are like women in Brazil (or at least everyone’s idea of women in Brazil) – every single one gorgeous! Yes, we are home to the Gisele Bündchen of mangoes (in my humble opinion). Different provinces and regions lay claim to growing the best mangoes in the country. Some say Guimaras, some say Cebu, some say Zambales. I say tough competition for the growers, but a lovely position for the eaters! :)

Presently, I have a bunch of mangoes from Zambales ripening on my dining room table. With their tantalizing fragrance perfuming the sultry air, I don’t feel so bad being stuck in a concrete jungle while summer is unfolding recklessly about me. I get these mangoes from a nice lady from whom I also procure carabao (our native water buffalo) milk products.

The mangoes are ripening at different speeds, which is perfect for us as we don’t have to worry about suddenly having to consume 10 mangoes at once. I have already tried some and I must say that these are some of the best mangoes I’ve ever tasted in my whole tropical Filipino life! Everything that makes the Philippine mango enchanting is infused in each bite – wickedly sweet, scandalously juicy, golden perfection. Straight from the fridge on a hot summer day, I am hard pressed to find something to top it.

These mangoes (from this particular farm in Zambales) will not last forever though. Their season may be over in a month, maybe less. I am thinking of buying a load and maybe freezing some...or maybe turning some into jam as I’ve done in the past. The mangoes high sugar content makes them perfect for jam (only if you can’t have them straight from the fridge on a hot summer day - which is really the best way to have them).

I didn’t make the mango jam used in this sandwich, nor was it made from Zambales mangoes. It was a gift from a friend and was delicious (“was” because I’m all out!). I paired it with carabao’s milk kesong puti, our local fresh white cheese, and squashed everything in a whole wheat pan de sal set on a contact grill. A delicious summer breakfast! If you don’t have a contact grill, just grill it on a skillet, pressing down on the sandwich until the cheese is nice and melty. If you don’t have kesong puti, you can use any fresh white cheese. That being said, mango jam also pairs beautifully with gruyere, melted the same way.

Happy summer to my co-islanders! I must get back to my beach escape plotting...and I do think another mango is calling my name from the dining room...

41 comments:

Anne said...

Love how you describe our mangoes "wickedly sweet, scandalously juicy, golden perfection" I too feel our mangoes are superior than the others. I've tried mangoes from Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand but nothing compares to our very own.

Mango Jam and kesong puti sounds a good duo but having this for breakfast won't allow me to eat just one. I bet I'll end eating a whole basket of pandesal.

P said...

i love this ode to mangga, joey. and it really made me miss summers in manila. on this particularly rainy, windy, chilly Toronto friday. (btw my vote goes to guimaras mangoes)

Ling said...

Joey,

The hubby and I came back from a holiday in Brazil three weeks ago (we were in Rio for Carnaval), and I have to say, as a fellow ASEAN-er, that their mangoes give the ones we get here a run for their money... they really do! We gorged ourselves silly, eating over the sink, juice running down our faces and arms, bees coming for us... a perfect mango is the perfect summertime treat, and makes a superlative caipirinha!! And yes, we did fresh mango and gobs of requeijão (a gorgeous creamy Brazilian soft cheese) on toast for breakfast. Argh, just thinking about all this is making me heartily homesick for Brazil... :p

Elyse said...

What an enticing picture! I adore mangoes, and your description makes me want them all the more!

veron said...

Philippine mangoes are the best , IMO. The ones in the U.S. called champagne mangoes come from mexico I think and lack the intoxicating fragrance of the Philippine variety not to mention the flavor.

chris @ tacosalad said...

Your lucky to have summer. It snowed here yesterday and it chilly and rainy today. This is all very odd weather as it should be warming up by now.

Anyway... Love the photo. Love mangoes. They are soooo very sweet and juicy.

Sarah said...

Compelling description of your mangoes! I just bought a mango yesterday... not as beautiful and the ones that you described... but I'm tempted to try a version your sandwich!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Oh how I miss Philippine mangoes! (And I love your description about how they're like women in Brazil LOL)

The imported mangoes here just ARE NOT the same. How I long for Philippine mangoes. . .

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Mangoes may just be the perfect fruit.

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Pam said...

Mangoes really are perfect. I'm sad to say we don't get them as good as yours here. I would probably swoon over if I actually ate one of your fresh ones!

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ChichaJo said...

Hi Anne! I love our mangoes and they inspire me to poetry, heehee :) Eating the whole basket...a common problem with pan de sal! Haha!

Hi P! Hay! I will write sonnets upon sonnets for this fruit! My doctor describes them as “worse than cake” hahaha! Which for me is a good thing! No lightweight these ;) Guimaras mangoes were also my favourite until I tried these...but hey, I’ll spend my whole comparing if it were up to me! I will send you some heat in exchange for a bucket of snow I can use to cool my neck!

Hi Ling! Lucky lucky!!! Holiday in Brazil! And a mango caipirinha! That sounds divine!

Hi Elyse! They are my favourite fruit :)

Hi Veron! I have to agree that our mangoes are the yummiest :) Although I wouldn’t mind setting up a barter for some fresh figs!

Hi Chris! Thanks :) Hmmm...we wouldn’t mind a few cool breezes though...it’s HOT!

Hi Sarah! Hope you like it! :)

Hi JS! Hope you get to visit and have some soon! :)

Hi Susan! I think so :)

Thanks Sharon, I’ll have a look :)

Hi Pam! I’m sure you get all sorts of fruit though that we don’t...like fresh berries!

Hey CP...will check it out :)

Suzana said...

Mangoes travel so much to reach Europe that I always feel a bit guilty every time I don't resist and buy one... Perhaps I should be the one traveling South for a change!! ;)

This sounds like a perfect brekkie treat, specially if Summer has arrived.

Helen said...

Oh wow! It is only just warming up here and you are making me long for summer. The best mangoes we get here are the alfonso mangoes which of course are not native to the UK and have to be imported. They are still delicious but I am very envious of you and your abundance of delicious mangoes. It sounds like tropical heaven.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks so gorgeous!

Thanks for your kind words...

Cheers,

Rosa

JMom said...

I have 4 paltry mangoes on my kitchen table right now and they are just a tease for something I can't have :(

Our mango is the best, I agree!

KitchenMaus said...

I have to agree about how ar mangoes are, miss those!

And wow on that photo, truly a blissful treat!

Marvin said...

All your talk about hot weather, mangoes, and carabao's milk has made me think of mango ice cream! I'll see about making some soon, but I doubt I'll fine anything close to your wonderful mangoes, joey!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Suzana! Yes! If you travel this way there are a lot of sweet tropical fruits waiting for you! :) I know what you mean though...I feel the same way when I see berries (like blueberries and raspberries) and rhubarb here!

Hi Helen! We each have our own blessings...there are also many wonderful fruits I can only dream of that cannot (yet!) grow in our hotter climate :)

Hi Rosa! Hope you are well...thanks and big hug!

Hi Jmom! Our mangoes are super sweet like we are ;)

Hi KitchenMaus! Thank you :)

Hi Marvin! And I don’t have an ice cream maker so go figure! But I do hope you find some mangoes soon so I can see that ice cream get made! :) Can you get carabao’s milk there?

Jude said...

Hmm. I wonder what the equivalent of kesong puti would be in the states. The gruyere idea sounds great.

Katrina said...

I've had those Zambales mangoes, and they're truly special! We were supposed to order again this year, but since we'll be out of town a lot, we were worried they'd ripen before we could eat them all.

Now you've made me regret not buying the mango jam I saw in Sagada the other day! I love mango jam, but a really good one isn't easy to find. So I chose to get the blueberry jam instead, since that area's better known for their berries than their mangoes. But that photo of yours is really making me crave...I'm going to the kitchen RIGHT NOW and see what I can do with what I have. Hmm...I wonder if the green mango jam I got from Bacolod and/or the Bohol Bee Farm mango spread, plus some cheddar will do the trick...

Jescel said...

"asphalt sizzles".. you're so right about that.. but that sandwich melt sizzles as well. it looks soo good.. miss ko na ang mangga natin! and kesong puti - i love that!

Zriz said...

What an apt description of the Pinas heatwave but since I live in a small city where the "asphalt still sizzles" I don't find it as hot as it is here in California (where I currently am).

And I agree when you say that each town claims to have the best of this and that, but it's a plus for the foodies!

Mango Jam and melted cheese looks uber yummy! i haven't tried them tho....

Caroline said...

My Brazilian hubby and I always end up reminiscing about our native mangoes every time we eat 'em. It's so true (like all the previous commenters stated) the mangoes here is US can never match Philippine mangoes. Sigh, you're making me miss them even more. Try to stay cool and hope you get to the beach soon.

Erin said...

I think I'm in love! Brioche with crumbly ched and Major Grey's has always been a huge favorite of min and this sounds even better!

Great post as usual Joey!

Midge said...

Philippine mangoes rule! I can't think of anything better to eat on any given summer day.

Oh, and I recently discovered this treat called jalea con mangga from a friend of my mom's. It is a richer, fruitier, more unctuous version of mango jam.

(And since you mentioned more lemony treats for the summer, may I suggest my lemon biscotti recipe [http://sybdive.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/dyi-biscotti-part-i-of-ii/] for the season?)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jude! I don’t know if it would have a direct substitute but any fresh white cheese would be good...on the other hands, cheese like gruyere are also heavenly melted in a panini with mango jam :)

Hi Katrina! I just got my second batch today! I split the box with my best friend and we should be able to liquidate the goodies since we will be in town for this holiday :) The blueberry jam sounds wonderful! I must visit Sagada already! The green mango jam also sounds good...how does it taste? So interesting! Nena has a really good source for mango jam :)

Hi Jescel! I love making panini-style sandwiches with kesong puti :) Hay naku...we really have to dress fresco and drink tons of water because it’s so hot!

Hi Zriz! I’m thisclose to chucking some ice cubes down my back! Hehe :)

Hi Caroline! Me too! The city is too hot for comfort!

Hi Erin! Thanks! Chutney and cheese is also a favourite :)

Hi Midge! Yeah! That jalea sounds awesome! Is there any place that sells it? Will check out the lemon biscotti!

ces said...

i've never tried this yet Joey!:) sounds and looks oh so perfect for the sizzling summer indeed:) and i miss our mangoes:( it's just not the same:( or is it PI i truly miss:( hey, thanks for stopping by!:)

bee said...

that looks scrumptious. don't tell an indian about filipino mangoes. indians claim their mangoes - like alphonso - are the best. lol.

RaviSingh said...

OK these are so going to be made for Sunday brekkie this weekend... brilliant!

Irene said...

I am so jealous! Mangoes are some of my favorite fruit and you sound like you live right in the perfect area for ultimate mango consumption! :D

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goodfor2 said...

looks yummy

Manang said...

you just made me miss our mangoes more...the mangoes available here do not compare to what we have in the Philippines. Even my husband who initially refused mangoes changed his mind once he had a bite of the Philippine mangoes. Too bad we don't have access to those now.

I have not tried kesong puti...I should when I come to visit Philippiens.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ces! The mangoes would definitely be one of the first things I’d miss if I were away! Hope you are doing well!

Hi Bee! Thanks for the tip...I won’t! I think there will always be more than enough space in the world for fabulous mangoes, right? :) The more the merrier! And more for us to discover and enjoy! :)

Hi Irene! They are my favourite fruit too! The mangoes over here are truly fantastic in my humble opinion :)

Thanks Althea...will check it out :)

Thanks goodfor2 :)

Hi Manang! Omg! That (“manang”) is what my younger brother calls me :) You should definitely try the kesong puti if you are here :) Gotta love our mangoes right? :)

I love Fish! said...

The best mangoes in the Philippines are those from Guimaras! You should try them to see what I mean.

ChichaJo said...

Hi I Love Fish...have tried Guimaras mangoes and they are definitely fantastic!

RankPay said...

Philippine mangoes are the best! And to have it with kesong puti..is perfect.

edelweiza said...

I've never tried this yummy mango combo for breakfast yet. It sounds very delicious! :)

Food Jaunts said...

I'll be making the tartlet version of your recipe for a cookout tomorrow.

Unfortunately in the states we don't have kesong puti and I don't have time to make it :( so I'll be subbing in either queso blanco or buffalo milk mozzarella.

I'll post back to let you know how it turns out!