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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 at the back of -- and learning the seductive secrets and techniques of lifestyles within the Caribbean.

Who hasn’t fantasized approximately chucking the activity, announcing see you later to the rat race, and escaping to a few unique vacation spot looking for sunlight, sand, and a special 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 apartment, 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 element that would have you ever packing your suit and speeding 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 experience and be seduced through Caribbean rhythms as she and Steve sip rum with their island friends, hike lush rain forests, pull their supper out of the ocean, and adapt to existence on “island time.”

Exchanging company outfits for naked toes, they drop anchor in sixteen international locations -- forty seven person islands -- the place they discover secluded shores and store energetic neighborhood markets. alongside the best way, Ann files 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 accommodates those attractive 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 determination that would 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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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. Every day required a battle plan. Besides the magazine, we squeezed in other publishing projects that we worked on together—including a small ongoing series of guidebooks for boaters on the Great Lakes that Steve published himself. They took a backseat to the other stuff and were, like their publisher, often late. Meanwhile, I was ruled day and night by my watch and the to-do lists in my Day-Timer.

She laughs her approval. I also buy a fragrant bunch of what I’ve learned to call “shadow benny,” a lovely nickname from the French patois that colors the language on this English-speaking island. Coupled with the lilting accent, the dropped letters, the missing pronouns, the islocentric vocabulary, and the high-speed delivery, it makes conversation a challenge. Chadon bene—shadow benny—means “good tea,” she tells me, since a tea made from its slender, sawtoothed leaves cures flu, pneumonia, constipation, and other ailments.

Hugh makes a sweet toast of welcome and friendship to those who come to this little village on the coast. He then indicates we have to down the rum in one go—demonstrating with his own cup, of course. Bernadette just looks on. I pick up my cup and gulp. Jesus. ” This is the local overproof stuff, fresh out of the still, no aging in barrels to temper the raw fire. I cough and sputter and grope for the water that Bernadette has prudently provided. She gives a little knowing smile: I wouldn’t be able to spit out the word right now to ask for it myself.

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