Mango Pie

Alongside the highway that roars past Bucerias, Mexico, on the opposite side of that highway from the susurrating surf of the Bahia de Banderas, I slowly slide my fork through the crust of the most delicious tropical taste my tongue has ever savored: mango pie. Pie in the Sky is the bakery, as American-sounding a name as I’ve ever heard. But nowhere in America have I ever found this treat.

Cara and a triangle of edible Mexican paradise from Pie in the Sky

Just looking at my slice and deeply inhaling the sweet tang makes a happiness as warm as the tropical air bubble up in my chest. Yet the flavor tastes as light as the sea breeze that tickles my face. That breeze reminds me the ocean is waiting. But I’m in no rush to head back to the beach.

I’m in no rush to head back to the uncrowded beach of Bucerias.

I could have taken a sand-and-sea vacation in many places, but I love the small-town feel of Bucerias, with its miniature plaza and uncrowded beach. I could have found another small town by the sea, but who knows if they would serve up mango pie? This is why I hopped on a jet: to return to this little bakery once again and practice my Spanish, “Por favor, tiene pie de mango?” (Please, do you have mango pie?) I almost jump up and down when the baker replies, “You’re in luck. We have one slice left.”

Mango pie is even better than my Grandma’s apple pie – don’t tell Grandma, the shock might kill her. Sweet, but not cloying, tart but not biting. Tiny chunks of mango, firm yet pliant between my teeth. And a shade of sunset orange that fills me with the languor of a nap on the sand.

Both the Bucerias sunset and mango pie are a languorous shade of orange.

This is a perfect triangle of edible Mexican paradise. No salsa, beans, tortillas, Margaritas or flan in sight. Just ripe, lightly baked mangos and delicate flaky crust and my husband laughing at my silent, contented smile.

4 thoughts on “Mango Pie

  1. Yvette Tharp

    I have never come across Mango Pie and I lived in St.Thomas for a year and half. When I left the island, I thought I ate everything ‘mango’. I can’t wait to find a recipe and try it out. Your description made my mouth water and my desire run wild!
    Anyone have a recipe I can borrow?

  2. Gay Pinder

    I’m with Yvette! I can’t wait to try my hand at whipping up a mango pie. It will have to wait until July 4th though. I’m on a diet until then. 🙂

  3. Natosha Fehribach

    Thank you so much, this was very interesting. I was actually born in Spain ( not telling what year though!) but moved around europe and lastly settled in England when I was 5. I dont remember much of the few years I was in spain, but the smell of spanish food always seems to get me going or something. Funny, how I dont remember anything except the smells,isn’t it! I actually found a internet site dedicated to spanish recipes, which gave me great delight and thought I really should to share. Anyway, thank you again. I’ll get my husband to add your website to my rss thing…

  4. Cara Lopez Lee Post author

    Thanks for visiting and commenting, Natosha. I spent a month in Spain, and wrote about that visit in my book, ”They Only Eat Their Husbands”. I’m not surprised you have a strong reaction to the smell of Spanish food. Did you know that scientific studies have shown that our olfactory sense is the one most strongly tied to memory? Some smells make me miss certain people, almost to the point of tears. I guess the memory of a smell is strong, too. I’m considering a trip to a different Mexican town in the spring, yet I’m not sure I’m ready to give up on Bucerias – just because of that mango pie!


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