An embarrassment of mangoes: a Caribbean interlude by Ann Vanderhoof

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By Ann Vanderhoof

Under the Tuscan Sun meets the wide-open sea . . . An Embarrassment of Mangoes is a scrumptious chronicle of leaving the type-A way of life at the back of -- and researching the seductive secrets and techniques of existence within the Caribbean.

Who hasn’t fantasized approximately chucking the task, announcing see you later to the rat race, and escaping to a couple unique vacation spot looking for solar, sand, and a special lifestyle? Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve did simply that.

In the mid Nineties, they have been pushed, forty-something pros who have been determined for a holiday from their deadline-dominated, career-defined lives. so that they surrender their jobs, rented out their condominium, moved onto a 42-foot sailboat known as Receta (“recipe,” in Spanish), and set sail for the Caribbean on a two-year voyage of culinary and cultural discovery.

In lavish aspect that might have you ever packing your go well with and rushing for the airport, Vanderhoof describes the sun-drenched landscapes, captivating characters and mouthwatering tastes that season their new way of life. Come alongside for the trip and be seduced via Caribbean rhythms as she and Steve sip rum with their island pals, hike lush rain forests, pull their supper out of the ocean, and adapt to lifestyles on “island time.”

Exchanging company outfits for naked ft, they drop anchor in sixteen nations -- forty seven person islands -- the place they discover secluded shores and store vigorous neighborhood markets. alongside the way in which, Ann files the delectable dishes they come upon -- from cracked conch within the Bahamas to curried lobster in Grenada, from Dominican papaya salsa to vintage West Indian rum punch -- and accommodates those attractive recipes into the textual content in order that readers can perform the adventure.

Almost pretty much as good as making the adventure itself, An Embarrassment of Mangoes is an intimate account that conjures the entire impossible to resist good looks and bounty from the Bahamas to Trinidad -- and simply may possibly compel you to make a rash choice that might land you in paradise.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Extra info for An embarrassment of mangoes: a Caribbean interlude

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Thirty-five dollars for number one jimmies,” the woman translates. Number one jimmies are the big fat prime male crabs, the ones served steamed in restaurants; but even given that, the price seems high for buying direct from the supplier—higher, in fact, than we’ve sometimes paid when eating out. ” The man in the pickup pushes a basket scrabbling with live crabs toward the pickup’s rear gate. It’s only then that I realize the price isn’t for a dozen—our usual consumption—but for an entire bushel basket.

Still, something is changing: My daily coffee intake has plummeted to one small cup before we get underway each morning instead of the maybe eight hefty mugs I used to consume each day. The stimulation of the new is replacing caffeine. We’re not only expending huge amounts of mental energy, but also doing much more physical, burn-the-calories type work. Two weeks after we started out, I had stepped on the scales at a yacht club where we stopped and discovered that without even trying I weighed less—by a good five pounds—than I had at any time in my adult life.

Sealawn,” I repeat as I load four into my backpack. She laughs her approval. I also buy a fragrant bunch of what I’ve learned to call “shadow benny,” a lovely nickname from the French patois that colors the language on this English-speaking island. Coupled with the lilting accent, the dropped letters, the missing pronouns, the islocentric vocabulary, and the high-speed delivery, it makes conversation a challenge. Chadon bene—shadow benny—means “good tea,” she tells me, since a tea made from its slender, sawtoothed leaves cures flu, pneumonia, constipation, and other ailments.

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