Why am I combining two salads in one post? Because I am a Filipino who migrated to America and have lived half of my life here in the US. Waldorf salad for me is quintessentially American. The same way the mango tomato salad is very Filipino. Each dish is unique in its own way and equally loved by many.
A Bit of History
Waldorf salad was invented by a chef at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York in 1896. It was not created by a chef but by the maître d’hôtel, (dining room manager) Oscar Tschirky. The Waldorf salad was an instant success. The original version of this salad contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts was later added and became an integral part of the dish.
Apples and celery are very healthy and are good sources of antioxidants which protect against heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Walnuts is full of omega 3 which reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer. It also provides nutrients against heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
There is no historical record of when the mango tomato salad was created. According to www.spicesinc.com, tomatoes were first eaten in the South American Andes and were taken to Spain in the 1500s. The Spaniards took them to the Philippines and from there it spread into different parts of Asia.
Tomatoes are full of the antioxidant lycopene and is good for heart health and prevents cancer. It is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
Mangoes on the other hand, are native to South Asia. Buddhist monks are said to have brought the plant to Malaya and Eastern parts of Asia as early as the 4th and 5th BC. It took the arrival of the Portuguese in India in the 15th century to make it spread to South America, the Philippines and to West Africa.
Mangoes are full of antioxidants and are good for digestion, diabetes, heart health, eye health and also has anticancer properties. For other anticancer options, read my list of anticancer foods.,
Filipino Mango Tomato Salad Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 mangoes – preferably not very ripe ones, Indian mango variety is best, peeled and diced
- 4 small tomatoes or 2 big tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup cilantro, minced (parsley can also be used here)
- pinch of salt
- juice of 1 lime – optional
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill before serving.
How to Serve Filipino Mango Tomato Salad
This is best eaten as a side dish to grilled or fried chicken, pork or fish. The sweet-sour flavor complements salty dishes. This is a very healthy salad. You can even cut the salt and the flavor will not suffer. This is a colorful salad and will make for a good spread on your table.
My Best Memories of Mangoes
Mangoes are available in the Philippines in the summer months from march to June. No wonder all my memories of mangoes are of lazy, hot summer days playing on the streets and coming home at dusk. The Philippine mango is so juicy and sweet, I am still not able to find anything close to it anywhere else.
We eat both green and ripe mangoes. Green mangoes are enjoyed sliced thinly and eaten with a dollop of shrimp paste. It is eaten as a snack or as appetizer. Ripe mangoes are of course eaten as dessert. It is also used in a variety of desserts as topping or as flavoring ingredient in baked goodies. Both green and ripe mangoes are used for smoothies or fruit juice.
The Best Waldorf Salad Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
- chicken tenders, poached with garlic salt and diced (optional)
- 1 cup seedless grapes, sliced in half
- 1 cup celery, sliced thinly
- 2 sweet apples, cored and chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, slightly toasted and chopped
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise (or yogurt)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- lettuce for serving
In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon, salt, pepper. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.
How to Serve Waldorf Salad
Waldorf salad is very popular in the fall when apples and walnuts are in season. Thanksgiving and Christmas spread in the US usually include this salad. But it can be prepared and enjoyed year-round. It goes well with meat. If making it with chicken, it can be a meal on its own.
My Best Memories of Apples and Waldorf Salad
Apples were not common in the Philippines when I was growing up. We would only see apples for sale during Christmas time. As such, it was coveted and cherished, Can you imagine little kids pining for apples instead of chocolates? That was us.
I did not have a chance to try Waldorf Salad until I was working and moved to Manila, There is a place called Almon Marina in Makati that served the best salads and this salad is one of their offerings.
What do You Think?
Which salad do you like better? I think both salads taste very good and are both nutritious and healthy. The Waldorf Salad can be made healthier by using yogurt instead of mayonnaise or just reducing the amount of mayonnaise. If you are using yogurt, add a bit of honey to counteract the sour taste.
With the mango salad, the only limitation would be the availability of mangoes.
Here in Texas, mangoes abound in the summer.They are mostly imported from Mexico and are good enough for me since I do not have access to Philippine mangoes. Peaches or nectarines can probably be used as substitute provided you pick fruits that are not too ripe so it holds up its shape when diced.
The seasonal nature of mangoes works for me since I can make mango tomato salad in the summer and Waldorf Salad in the fall. Eating according to what’s in season, check!
Hope you are inspired to make both of these salads. I have already made both this week and we loved it.