The Shopper Kitchen: A Taste of Travel – Mango Bread

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By Angela McRae, Special to The Shopper

This spring, the talented author and photographer Georgianna Lane released her newest book, London in Bloom, and I ordered a copy. The book is brimming with images of beautiful flowers all over London, from jonquils near Big Ben to a floral boutique in Belgravia and roses at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

From the moment I turned the first page, I was smitten by all of the beautiful photos reminding me of my own trips to London. So when the pandemic news got too dreary and the online doomscrolling made me weary, I reached for my pretty new volume and “booked” some armchair travel. It’s a practice I am happy to recommend.

I feel the same way about reading old cookbooks, especially those from places I’ve never visited, like Hawaii. A sweet bread recipe I have enjoyed making is from the Waioli Cook Book II, published in 1974 by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Honolulu and a restaurant that’s now known as the Waioli Kitchen and Bake Shop. While temporarily closed because of the pandemic—Oahu has suspended in-person dining—the Waioli, founded in 1922, remains in business, and I’d love to dine there one day.

With a cookbook featuring recipes from Hawaii, I wanted to make something with a tropical flavor, and a recipe for Mango Bread caught my eye.

I love stone fruits, and the mango is right up there with the peach in my estimation. In fact, whenever I’m buying specialty tea from a new vendor, I always look for peach- or mango- flavored blends. A juicy peach or mango is such a treat, and a bread featuring mango is a great end-of-summer sweet.

This recipe makes two loaves, using 9 x 5 x 3-inch pans, and they are moist, rich, and brimming with mango and nuts. I substituted applesauce for some of the oil with great results, but feel free to use the original recipe if you prefer.

So if your travel has been curtailed this year, try a little taste of Hawaii or check out another recipe from somewhere you’d like to go!

Mango Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups fresh mango, peeled and chopped fine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil*
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup melted shortening*
3 eggs

(Note: I wanted to reduce the oil content in this recipe, so I used just 1/4 cup each of the oil and shortening and added 1/2 cup applesauce, a favorite substitution in these kinds of recipes.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two loaf pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and stir. Make a well, add remaining ingredients, and combine. Pour batter into pans and bake for 1 hour or until firm to the touch. Yields 2 loaves of bread.

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