Show 545, September 30, 2023: Hatch Chile Festival Recap with Michelle Grow, Marketing Director, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce

Michelle Grow of Melissa's World Variety Produce

Michelle Grow, Melissa’s / World Variety Produce’s Director of Marketing is no stranger to the “SoCal Restaurant Show.” She just had the very special experience of being a part of the annual Hatch Chile Festival over Labor Day Weekend in Hatch, NM. Then she was off to Australia to learn about R2E2 and Honey Gold Mangoes. Michelle is our guest to recap her recent global produce adventures.

As any true New Mexican will tell you, there’s hot chile and then there’s Hatch chile, and boy is it worth celebrating! This annual harvest festival over Labor Day Weekend in the “Chile Capital of the World” (that’s Hatch, New Mexico) includes chile roasting, food and craft vendors, fun for the kids, a carnival, and entertainment provided by local businesses. Over 40,000 chile loves attend annually which is a lot bigger than the population of Hatch estimated at 1,500! Last year was the 50th Anniversary of the Hatch Chile Festival.

“The Aussies are very picky about mangos, so only the best varieties are grown. The Calypso® mango is an Australian favorite; the bright, beautiful shades of red and yellow stand out in any produce department. With a unique pink blush, smaller seed, and juicy, fiber-free flesh, Calypso® mangos are perfectly beautiful and perfectly delicious. Melissa’s brings these beauties into the states just in time for Christmas… or Chrissy, as they say in Australia.”

“You can identify R2E2s from Australia by their lemon-yellow flesh and orange-red blush. Both Calypso® and R2E2s are perfect for smoothies, salads, salsas, and treat-yourself moments”

Spring Fruit Salad with Tajin

Spring Fruit Salad with Tajin by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Recipe excerpt from:
Muy Bueno: Fiestas – 100+ Delicious Mexican Recipes for Celebrating

by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

I grew up in the 1980s and always remember a fluffy and sweet ambrosia-style fruit salad made with canned fruit, Cool Whip, and shredded coconut. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that salad. But nowadays I would rather serve a bowl filled with colorful fresh fruits, a scattering of crunchy jicama, a drizzle of lime juice, and a sprinkling of spicy Tajín. For a festive touch, serve this salad in a hollowed-out pineapple or use a bunny-shaped cookie cutter to cut some of the fruit pieces. You can also thread the fruit and jicama pieces onto bamboo skewers for a great utensil-free potluck contribution.

If you are not a fan of papaya, replace it with cantaloupe.

Makes 6-8 Servings

  • 1 small yellow mango, such as Ataulfo, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 red-green mango, such as a Haden, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 small jicama, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup (170 g) chopped pineapple
  • 1 cup (140 g) chopped papaya
  • 1 cup (155 g) watermelon, in balls or cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Tajín seasoning (see Cook’s Note)
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a bowl, combine the mangos, jicama, pineapple, papaya, and watermelon and toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with the Tajín, season with salt, and drizzle with the lime juice, then toss well to coat evenly.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day before serving.

Cook’s Note: Tajín is a popular chile-salt-lime seasoning mix made in Mexico and widely available in well-stocked supermarkets and Latin stores in the United States. Clásico, the most popular blend, is made with mild red chiles, while the habanero blend delivers a lot more fire. A low-sodium version is also available.

Jicama Mango Salad

Jicama Mango Salad by Brianne Grajkowski

Recipe excerpt from:
Cooking with Kids – Fun, Easy, Approachable Recipes to help Teach Kids How to Cook
by Brianne Grajkowski

Serves 4 / 15 Minutes


  • 2 Mangos
  • 1 Small Jicama
  • 1 Bunch of Mint
  • 1 Lime


Cut mango into thin slices. Cut off skin of jicama and cut into thin slices Chop mint. Place mango and jicama slices onto a plate. Squeeze a lime onto the fruit Sprinkle with mint. SLICE THIN! Cut the fruit into long thin slices for optimal taste!

Show 432, July 3, 2021: Ericka Sanchez with Aguas Frescas & Paletas

Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles and Feasts

“Creator of the award-winning website Nibbles and Feasts, Ericka Sanchez delivers a refreshing take on Mexican drinks and popsicles, just in time for Summer in her new cookbook, Aguas Frescas & Paletas – Refreshing Mexican Beverages and Frozen Treats, Traditional and Reimagined. Aguas Frescas and Paletas highlights 40 amazing treats that use less sugar than the traditional recipes, and adds unique flavor twists into the mix alongside nostalgia-inducing classics.”

“Ranging from familiar flavors like horchata and lime to more unique combinations like Hibiscus & Spiced Orange, Mint Blackberry, and Avocado Coconut the recipes in Aguas Frescas & Paletas use refreshing, simple ingredients that can be found at your local supermarket.”

“Ericka Sanchez is a recipe developer, food stylist, and the creator of the award-winning culinary website Ericka’s cooking style is inspired by her life as a bicultural Latina living in California and her cherished memories in the kitchen with her grandmother and mother in Mexico. Ericka was born in Torreón Coahuila, Mexico, and immigrated with her family to El Paso, Texas, at eight years old.”

Ericka has graciously shared her recipe for Mango & Chamoy Pops with us. It’s in the “Recipes” area of the SoCal Restaurant Show’s Website.

Ericka Sanchez joins us Mango & Chamoy Pop in hand.

Show 328, June 15, 2019: Liko Lehua Butters with Matt & Dawn Kaneali’i – Kleinfelder

Matthew Kaneali'i of Liko Lehua ButtersLiko Lehua Butters, a line of Hawaii-made (with a splash of Aloha,) gourmet butters flavored with tropical Island fruits, was started by two sisters in 1996. The butters are packed in glass jars and prepared in small batches to maintain strict quality control. The product line is all-natural without any preservatives or additives. Liko Lehua Butters is now under the watchful stewardship of the second generation of the founding Family.

Island flavors include, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Tahitian Lime, Coconut, Guava and Mango.

“Handcrafted in Hawaii & kissed with aloha…”

Great on pancakes and waffles. Spread on your favorite breads and toasts instead of butter or preserves. Add as a flavorful condiment to grilled meats, chicken and fish.

There is also a café, Liko Lehua at Pauahi located near the Hilo Airport on the Big Island.

You can feel confident ordering directly from Likio Lehua. The jars are meticulously packed with great care to ensure the product will arrive in pristine condition.

Principals Matt and Dawn Kaneali’i join us to spread the aloha.

Grilled Salsa Salad

Melissa's Grilled Salsa Saladby Chef Tom Fraker
Melissa’s World Variety Produce

Sweet and savory, this delicious salad is perfect for those summer months when the grill is always fired up.

6 large Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded

limes, halved
garlic cloves, peeled
2 large avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted
1 large mango, halved lengthwise and seeded (do not peel)
sweet onion, thickly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
15 dried tepin chile peppers, ground
1 head butter lettuce

Melissa's Great Pepper CookbookPreheat grill to medium heat. Brush tomato and next 5 ingredients (through onion) with oil. Place fruits and vegetables on grill rack; grill, rotating halfway through grilling to achieve even grill marks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set limes aside.

Peel and finely dice remaining grilled fruits and vegetables. In a bowl, combine fruits and vegetables, cilantro , and chile; toss together. Squeeze in lime juice; sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve with butter lettuce leaves.

Recipe from The Great Pepper Cookbook