Seeking mango + a Bittersweet Cocoa Granita
By Alexina Anatole bringing a bit of 'Bitter!'
This week I was supposed to be coming to you with the mango-iest mango post that I’ve ever written. For me, Indian mango season is one of the most exciting out there and I was ready to blow you all away; The firm, orange flesh with that complex mixture of floral, sweet and green notes, is unbeatable. But then I ran into something quite unsexy: supply chain issues. And you know I will not send out a recipe on Kitchen Projects unless I’m 100000% confident the recipe is foolproof.
There are some 200+ recipes in the Kitchen Projects archive and I’ve made all of them multiple times before sending out. I started this week with 16 mangoes, plus an 850g tin of puree. Surely that would be enough? RIGHT?! Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. My shipment was delayed and my local only had squishy, bruised mangoes that I couldn’t bear paying £3.5 a piece for. I guess you could call this situation my mangwoe. (forgive me)
So, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until next Sunday for my dream mango recipe. But hopefully this gives you enough time to source some goodies; I mean, mango season is JUST finding its feet.
How to find mangoes
According to my mango guru Tarunima aka @mylittlecaketin (who will join us next week to tell us some of the best ways to store and prep the goodies), the sweetness of the mangoes just isn’t quite there yet and needs another week or so; Isn’t mango patience such a challenging virtue?!
In preparation for next weekend’s mango madness, I figured it would be a good idea to share my mango map. I’m afraid it’s very london centric, but please do continue sending me mango tips so I can keep the map updated. Click here to see it.
And tips on buying:
Alphonso mangoes are available until the end of May, with the best ones starting from next week. Kesar mangoes will be available until end of June.
Give them a touch! Of course, ask permission from mango seller first, but you ideally want to go home with a box of firm fruit - ask to swap out fruit if there are super soft ones and ask for a fresh box on the bottom of the pile
And whilst you’re handling them - give them a smell! The best ones I ate had the most amazing fragrant scent, whilst it was a pretty good indication that they weren’t going to be as good if the scent wasn’t there
Don’t be scared off by the green skin but avoid totally underripe green ones, but ones that are semi-green are ok, too, mainly focus on how they feel
Wrap under ripe mangoes in newspaper for a few days
For storage, I had a few different suggestions - some people said that the fridge was okay, but others said to avoid the fridge! Perhaps it depends on how ripe they are, or the variety, but to be honest I’ve been eating them so quickly I haven’t had to worry about it. Someone also suggested keeping in room temperature water for best freshness
A bit of bitter
So, although the mango was not meant to be today, I’m thrilled to be sharing a gorgeous recipe on KP+ from Alexina Anatole: Bittersweet cocoa granita.
Alexina is a cook who loves to explore flavour. From her time on Masterchef as a finalist in 2021 to her debut book, ‘Bitter’, which comes out later this year, she’s all about celebrating this sometimes overlooked flavour, from grapefruit to licorice. ‘Bitter’ is the first in a series that explores the five fundamental tastes, and btw, it is available for pre-order now y’all!
Alexina also hosts regular supper clubs and her next event celebrates, you guessed it, all things bitter and takes place next Sunday 21 May 2023 at Spiritland in King's Cross. The menu is a sneak preview of recipes from the book, so you’ll get to enjoy things like Marmalade negronis, Tahini panzanella, Spring roast chicken with beer butter onions and Strawberry, bitter lemon + rooibos sorbet. YUM. Click here for more info.
Alexina will also be serving up bitter chocolate torte with passionfruit sauce, which inspired her stunnerama granita recipe which the KP+ gang can access below.
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Alright, I’ll hand it over to Alexina. And I’ll see you next week.
Lots of love
A bittersweet cocoa granita
by Alexina Anatole