Mangoes are indigenous to the Philippines. They grow quite a few different varieties all over the country. Filipinos love to eat them ripe and sweet, or green and sour. Philippine mangoes, in my opinion, are the best in the world. My favorite is the variety they call Carabao Mangoes. Their thin, smooth skins are easy to peel and hide a golden orb of juicy sweetness that’s unrivaled by any other country’s. South American mangoes, though good, are very fibrous. In contrast, Philippine mangoes have very little fiber. You could cut one open and eat the flesh with a spoon.
We had two huge mango trees in our garden when I was growing up. I have very fond memories of sitting under the shade of the trees on lazy afternoons, reading a book or drawing. When harvest time came, we would get baskets and baskets full of bright yellow fruit from the overloaded branches. Way more fruit than we could ever eat. Our cook would make mango desserts, mango jam, and “burong mangga” (sweet pickled mangoes). We also gave away lots to friends and neighbors.
Mango Float is a very popular dessert in the Philippines. How this dessert got its name, I have no idea. To me, the name Mango Float conjures up images of a milkshake-type drink. Nothing at all like what this dessert is truly like. It’s rich and creamy and utterly delicious. You’ll find yourself wanting a second and third helping, it’s so good. And because it’s so easy to make, you’ll find yourself wanting to make it again and again.
- 4 large ripe mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cans (12.8 ozs. each) Nestlé table cream
- 1-2 cans (14 ozs. each) condensed milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. salt, optional
- 1 box graham crackers
- Whisk the Nestlé cream, 1 can condensed milk, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl until well combined.
- Taste the cream mixture. If you want it sweeter, open the second can of condensed milk and add more, a tablespoon at a time, until the cream is sweetened to your liking.
- Arrange graham crackers in a single layer at the bottom of a 9×13″ pyrex glass baking dish. Cut and trim the crackers with a knife as needed to fit the baking dish.
- Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture over the graham crackers.
- Top with a layer of sliced mangoes.
- Repeat layering two more times with graham crackers, then cream, and ending with mango slices.
- Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
NOTE: If you want thicker layers of cream between the graham crackers, add 1 can of Nestlé cream and ½ can of condensed milk to the cream mixture, then taste for sweetness and increase condensed milk by the tablespoon, if desired. No need to increase the vanilla and salt.