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 in the back of -- and researching the seductive secrets and techniques of existence within the Caribbean.
Who hasn’t fantasized approximately chucking the activity, asserting so long 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 Nineteen Nineties, they have been pushed, forty-something execs who have been determined for a holiday from their deadline-dominated, career-defined lives. so that they give up their jobs, rented out their condominium, moved onto a 42-foot sailboat referred to 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 would have you ever packing your go well with and speeding for the airport, Vanderhoof describes the sun-drenched landscapes, mesmerizing characters and mouthwatering tastes that season their new way of life. Come alongside for the experience and be seduced through Caribbean rhythms as she and Steve sip rum with their island acquaintances, hike lush rain forests, pull their supper out of the ocean, and adapt to lifestyles on “island time.”
Exchanging enterprise outfits for naked toes, they drop anchor in sixteen international locations -- forty seven person islands -- the place they discover secluded shorelines and store full of life neighborhood markets. alongside the way in which, Ann files the delectable dishes they stumble 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 engaging recipes into the textual content in order that readers can perform the adventure.
Almost nearly as good as making the adventure itself, An Embarrassment of Mangoes is an intimate account that conjures all of the impossible to resist attractiveness and bounty from the Bahamas to Trinidad -- and simply may well compel you to make a rash determination that might land you in paradise.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for An embarrassment of mangoes: a Caribbean interlude
People fall in love in different ways. Inside, we go through her with flashlights. The oiled teak that lines her cabins gives her a richness and warmth. So what if the upholstery is a nubby weave in early-eighties-rec-room turquoise-and-orange stripes? Cushions can be replaced. Traditional glass prisms are set into her deck to refract sunlight into the cabins, a bit of boat-building finesse missing on newer sailboats. So what if her electronics are out of date? A bonus, says Steve: He can buy the new ones he wants, without guilt.
There’s no sign to identify it—it’s next door to the abattoir, which is helpfully signed to alert the unwary—but is hard to miss since the vendors spill out onto the sidewalk, their scarred wooden tables lined with bloody hunks of kingfish, whole red snappers neatly side by side, and buckets of slender, silvery ballyhoo. On our way, we run into a couple of other sailors we know, a pair from Texas. “You just missed the excitement,” he says. “One guy just chopped off another guy’s hand with a machete.
Sealawn,” she says, drawing out the second syllable like a musical refrain, and the name seems fitting, since we’re surrounded by the sea and lush greenness. I know there’s a place called Seamoon toward the north end of the island; I envision the bountiful Sealawn right next to it, covered with heavily laden mango trees. “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.