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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 gaining knowledge of the seductive secrets and techniques of lifestyles within the Caribbean.

Who hasn’t fantasized approximately chucking the activity, announcing so long to the rat race, and escaping to a few unique vacation spot looking for solar, sand, and a distinct 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 surrender their jobs, rented out their residence, 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 rushing for the airport, Vanderhoof describes the sun-drenched landscapes, captivating characters and mouthwatering tastes that season their new way of life. Come alongside for the journey and be seduced by means of 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 company outfits for naked ft, they drop anchor in sixteen nations -- forty seven person islands -- the place they discover secluded seashores and store energetic neighborhood markets. alongside the way in which, Ann documents 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 contains 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 the entire impossible to resist good looks and bounty from the Bahamas to Trinidad -- and simply might compel you to make a rash choice that may land you in paradise.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Extra resources for An embarrassment of mangoes: a Caribbean interlude

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But there’s only about a one-day window between when a crab discards its old shell and when the new shell has hardened too much to eat, so the harvest has necessarily evolved into a precise science. With practiced eyes, the watermen cull the “busters,” which have begun to shed, and the “peelers,” which are just about to. And then they wait. The moment the crabs molt, they are put on ice and rushed to market. The ones that arrive in front of Steve, once the tide turns and the cook arrives, are so perfect he has no intention of sharing more than one measly bite with me: dredged in flour and panfried gloriously crisp on the outside, yet soft and melting inside, with no trace of hardness from the start of a new shell.

That was on the good days. The rest of the time, I drove home in the cold at night, freezing and fuming, replaying the day, and arrived ready to rant: about the sloppy writers, the uninspired stories, the cheapskate publisher, the blown deadlines and, especially, the talented but unreasonable art director. “Turn it off, the office is closed,” Steve would say. And I would—for at least a full minute. Our work and our personal lives were inseparable. And there never seemed to be enough hours for both.

This doesn’t mean you’re agreeing to sail into the sunset. We can always use the money to do something else. And I had to admit, in the short term, having the Plan would allow us to fantasize on the cold, tough days about making the great escape. When we arrive at Smith Island on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, it is just before dusk. Rakish clouds with underskirts of gray scuttle across the sky. The public dock at the island’s main town of Ewell, where we tie Receta, is a mere six inches above water level, and it’s still not high tide; the main street is already awash ankle-deep.

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