Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled mango.

Oh, how I wish I was Peter Piper right about now. For weeks, I’ve been trying to get my hands on a jar of li hing pickled mango. The season for this juicy, ripe summery pick is quickly coming to a close – meaning, I’ll have to wait a whole year before my taste buds and fingertips can be stained with that wonderfully red, li hing liquid.

Pickled mango follows the same sweet-sour concept as most pickled foods – except with li hing mui powder, it’s that much better! And that much more authentically Hawaii, I feel. The li hing really adds that zing to the sweet-salty-tangy taste. Some people add it in powder form, while others drop in a couple of li hing mui seeds.

The truth is, I passed a roadside stands selling pickled mango just a few weeks ago but was too lazy to pull over. I could really kick myself for doing that. I’m pretty sure I could also get them at the swap meet or a local crack seed store. In fact, I just might have to do that!

Pickled mango is almost synonymous with crack seed stores. Many old-timers remember going there during those hot summer days, specifically for some of that sweet red treat. Half-pound or a pound, really, they say the best part of their buy is the leftover “juice.” The sea of bright red li hing couldn’t be more enticing, especially for those kids who could not wait until the mango slices were gone. Literally, caught red-handed – red teeth, lips and all.

Gotta love those mouth-watering local treats. Until then, I will be on a pickled mango mission.

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