"I was watching Paula Deen on her Food Network cooking show when she tried to make laulau. I laughed when she said you can get laulau leaves from your nearest ... florist." -Mari-jo
"What? Just go to your neighbor's backyard!" -Gary
I've always thought of mango bread as quintessentially a Hawaii staple. You give mango bread to a new neighbor to welcome them, or to a sick friend, or a group of Mainlander friends visiting on vacation. Mango bread symbolizes welcome in the island way just as Mainlanders think of a basket of fruit that way.
I never attempted mango bread because I'm allergic to the sap and I could never marry my mind to accept mango in bread. It just never went together as well as banana bread did, IMHO. But locals swear by it. So I tried out a hybrid recipe last night, a combination of a little of this, a little of that, some Sam Choy, some Honolulu Advertiser readers, a friend who makes mango bread in Kailua.
All Recipes contains the perfect conglomeration for me in SACKPAC's version, Magic Mango Bread, which she borrowed from a Hawaii friend. I like that it has butter and oil, not just oil, in it. Three cups of chopped mango is a lot more than other recipes that call for two cups. And, I wasn't sure to go ahead and go with the walnuts, coconut and raisins. But I did. Hopefully, the coconut didn't put a lot of people off.
I ran into a minor snafu while skinning and slicing mango though. None of mine were Hawaii mangoes. They were from Mexico, and the first four were yellow with weird white strips throughout. They tasted ripe but I'm used to orange mangoes with the soft texture of very ripe peaches from a can. There was even one I couldn't even use, because it was hard as a rock inside. Luckily, the first two I first grabbed from the pile at PCC (the cheapest at a dollar each), also from Mexico, were better. I only had to use the one, and its soft orange flesh made me excited for the bread's outcome.
Other than the mango issue, I was good. I added my own touch by splitting the sugar into 1 cup white and 1/2 cup brown.
Everything came out well, although both loaves sank a little on the inside. I kept checking with toothpicks in the center and couldn't tell if the slick oily wet meant they were done or what.
They smelled incredible coming out of the oven, at midnight. Not quite like being back in Hawaii (I'd probably be picking the mango from a friend's backyard tree), but I'll take what I can get.
Plus, I didn't break out touching the sap!