Published on January 13th, 2013 | by Gareth4
Sour mango and peach pickle
“Waste not want not” a phrase that was instilled into me from an early age. If I doubted the meaning this was reinforced, by being reminded of the starving in Africa whenever I wouldn’t finish a meal. Unsurprisingly I grew up with pretty strong views on food wastage. Nina will testify that I am like the food police at home, ready to scold anyone throwing away food.
Which brings me to the purpose of my post; a report released earlier this week by The Institution of Mechanical Engineers stated that between 30-50% of the worlds food produced is wasted. And ludicrously up to 30% of fruit and veg grown in the UK remains un-harvested because it doesn’t look pleasing. Have we really become so obsessed with the atheistic that an unsymmetrical apple or curved celery doesn’t pass muster? Aside from the bloody obvious this explains why I seldom see amusing shaped veg these days.
Seriously though the amount food being chucked away both by the average domestic household and food retailers is sickening. Food has become something that many in the western world take for granted, like clean running water. There is a blasé attitude about food, if it’s gone or about to go off ‘throw it away, just buy some more’. Busy lifestyles, a lack of planning, misunderstanding on best before dates, poor food storage and multi-buy deals just compound the issue. And don’t get me started on the food wastage in America (especially given the excessive portions sizes). This had me near frothing at the mouth when we visited last year.
The simple answer is only buy what you need, plan your meals and rotate the contents of the fridge. But you can also preserve food and by that I am talking jams, pickles and chutneys. The addition of a good chutney can transform a meal from ‘ho-hum’ to ‘hello sexy’. Its what cufflinks are to a suit, a Louis Vuitton bag is to a dress and a good mix tap is to a road trip.
This weekend I gave on of my new cookbooks a whirl (Around the world in 80 dishes – by David Loftus with recipes from chefs from all over the world). The recipe I settled on was ‘pickles a la peche’ by Danyel Couet. I had a pile of chilies and peaches that I wanted to use up. Of course as usual I was compelled to tinker and ended up replacing the chickpeas for sour mangos, the shallots for red onions and a few additional ingredients.
The result is sweet n’ sour and a jewel to be served curry with all the trimmings.
- 2 red onions – peeled and finely sliced
- 2 sour green mangos – peeled and diced
- 6 peaches – stone removed, cut into eighths
- 2 tblsp. fennel seeds
- 2 jalapenos chillies – sliced
- 2 birdseye chillies – sliced
- 140g currants
- 20g dried cranberries
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 430g soft brown sugar
- 450ml cider vinegar
- 1 star anise
- 1 tblsp. fresh ginger – peeled and grated
- 2 tsp. fresh mint – chopped
- Put the sliced onion in a bowl with 100ml of the vinegar
- Toast the fennel seeds, star anise and cinnamon in a pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the chillies, remaining 300ml of vinegar, currants, spices, cranberries sugar and ginger. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the sour mango and boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce to a simmer and add the onion and peach. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the mint.
- Pour into sterilised jars, seal and store in a cool dry place. They will keep for a about 6 months.
Happy New Year by the way, sorry for starting 2013 with a rant but it is something I am quite passionate about. To hell with uniform produce, rise up irregular and ugly veg! Plan your meals and please don’t be wasteful in the kitchen, there are too many hungry mouths in the world to keep needlessly filling landfill.