Mango Pie

May 8, 2009 | Food Adventures, Mexico

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.

About Cara

Cara Lopez LeeCara Lopez Lee is the author of They Only Eat Their Husbands. She’s a winner of The Moth StorySLAM and performs in many storytelling shows, including Unheard L.A., and Strong Words. Her writing appears in such publications as Los Angeles Times, Manifest-Station, and Writing for Peace. She’s a traveler, swing dancer, and baker of pies. Cara and her husband live in the beach-town of Ventura, California, where they enjoy tending their Certified Wildlife Habitat full of birds.
Cara Lopez Lee

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