It’s fun to bring back mementos from far-flung travels — I’m partial to oven mitts and dishtowels, which are surprisingly available almost everywhere around the world — but sometimes the best souvenir doesn’t go in the suitcase. Bringing back a recipe or a new technique can be a long-lasting reminder of a good vacation.

A vacation last year to Baja California added something new to the souvenir recipe collection. In between beach stays along the Sea of Cortez, we veered inland to be the guests at a small mango orchard. The setting was spectacular: The craggy mountains of the Sierra de la Laguna formed the backdrop for the green orchard, which was home to a variety of birds and other animals that were the only soundtrack to the off-the-grid adventure. At night, the remote location was so dark that it seemed that every star in the cosmos was visible.

Bernice Torregrossa:


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