Friday, February 1, 2013

How do you make Peach Mangoes?

One of my most delightful Christmas gifts was some antique cookery/housekeeping books found by my uncle, and avid old-book collector. I have had such fun with them, some new ideas and mysteries too. I saw this recipe or "recipt" as they said, for "Peach Mangoes" in the Williamsburg Art of Cookery by Mrs. Helen Bullock, originally printed in 1742. 

"TAKE large plum Peaches, sufficient Quantity to fill the Jar. Peel nicely and take out the Stones. Have ready the Stuffing in proportion to the peaches, preserved Orange-peel, preserved Ginger, Coriander seed, Celery seed, a small quantity of Mace, Cinnamon, candied Strawberries, if you have them, and pickled Cherries. Sew the Peaches up after stuffing them and fill the Jar. Then to every Pound of Sugar add one-half Pint of Vinegar, allowing the above quantity to two Pounds of Fruit. Make a Syrup of the Sugar and Vinegar, and pour on the Peaches, boiling hot. Repeat this for three mornings; the forth Morning put them all together, and boil a short Time; add a few spices; Cinnamon and Ginger to the Syrup when you make it. They will be ready for Use in a few Weeks."

Essentially a sweet and sour pickle, of a peach where the stone-cavity was filled with minced sweet preserved fruit and spices. Definitely something new I have never tasted before. I will have to try this in August when I have too many peaches. I like the part where she describes sewing up the peaches. Or, she does not describe it and leaves it all to the imagination. Would you use cotton string? Are the peaches ripe or crunchy?

But, where do the mangoes come into play, in early America, I was wondering? I looked it up. The Mango, from India, was first is found mentioned in Italy in 1510 (manga). When mangoes were transported by ship to further affar such as England and America, they were only in their unripe and pickled form. Apparently novel and popular, "mango" became a synonymous to pickle. Perhaps more specifically pickled fruit?

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