Mango & Peppercorns
A riveting memoir that uses the power of food, family, friendship, and hope to tell the story of three amazing women, Mango and Peppercorns lives up to its name with a lot of sweet, spice, and an unexpected kick. Be prepared to feel joy, shed tears, and be really hungry as you read about the life of a 27-year-old pregnant refugee from Vietnam (Tung), who found a home, a friend, and a business partner in Katherine Manning in Miami. Living the American dream, the duo ended up raising Tung’s daughter (Lyn) together alongside running the award-winning Hy Vong Vietnamese restaurant. The storyline switches between dates, locations, and narrators, but the flow is seamless, and with each page you learn a bit more about the women, their backgrounds, and their food. The name of the book itself comes from a dish that became one of the restaurant’s signatures — fish in mango sauce with green peppercorns — and like everything else, it was a collaboration between Tung and Kathy. Along with memories, both painful and happy, come the recipes — the bún bò, or beef noodle soup, Tung made and sold in Saigon; the bread pudding with vanilla sauce that Kathy created for the restaurant based on her own childhood favorite; and of course, the fish with mango sauce — and before you know it, you are going in for seconds.
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