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Had a much-needed break from my usual hectic work schedule last week when Mama Sita took my husband Raff and me and a big group of other media people (editors, writers, photographers) on a picnic in Rosafarms, San Marcelino, Zambales. Called Piknikan sa Manggahan a la Mama Sita, it was a day trip meant to give everyone a taste of what picnics in the Reyes family was all about, particularly when the matriarch, Teresita "Mama Sita" Reyes, was still alive.
It was a whole day of fun at the mango farm, starting with a mango-picking game that had everyone picking mangoes straight from the trees, filling bayongs with the luscious fruit, and running to weigh our "loot" of fresh mangoes for an official tally. Then there was a lunch picnic, a kite-making and kite-flying contest, Pinoy Henyo attempts, and tinikling lessons.
There was food everywhere, and mangoes were bountiful in the form of fresh mango slices and homemade mango ice cream with huge chunks of the delicious fruit, burong mangga for appetizers, green mango shake, and a whole lot more. Since Zambales mangoes are truly the sweetest and the best, I still craved for the mangoes the day after—even when I was already in the comfort of my own home. So I dug deep into my bayong of still green mangoes, fished out a couple, and made my own burong mangga, following the very simple recipe provided by Mama Sita.
Here is how it came out...
1 kg. green mangoes (about 3 big pieces)
1 cup Mama Sita's Tropic White Sugar
1 tbsp. Mama Sita's Sea Salt
1. Wash the mangoes thoroughly under running tap water.
2. Peel and cut the pulp into long, thin slices. Discard the seeds.
3. Combine sugar and salt in a bowl, and mix well. Add to sliced mango and mix well with a spoon or with clean hands until the sugar and salt start to dissolve and form into liquid.
4. Pour into small sterilized jars. Cover jars loosely and allow to ferment. After three days, tighten the cap and place jar in refrigerator.
Makes 12 servings.
Dolly T. Dy-Zulueta is editor of Flavors Magazine. She graduated from a certificate course in culinary and baking skills at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS). Aside from this course, she has taken several cooking classes in several cooking schools.