Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. Every now and then we get a chance to chat with a Canadian blogger who is living somewhere else around the globe and this week, we meet Hamilton's Joanne Rappos, the blogger behind Olive and Mango who now calls Trinidad and Tobago home!
Name: Joanne Rappos
Blog name: Olive & Mango
Where were you born? Hamilton, On
Where are you living now? Trinidad & Tobago
Why did you start your blog?
Originally as a way to log and record my recipes, then it transitioned to a fun way to share my recipes with others.
How did you decide on your blog name? It represents food from cultures of my husband and I. Greek - Olive, Mango - Caribbean.
What do you blog about?
Delicious home cooking that anyone can do
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
Something in between.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Greek Style Potato salad. It’s one of my oldest posts that I recently redid the photos for. It highlights my cultural heritage when it comes to food but it’s a great example of how delicious food can be quite approachable and simple with minimal ingredients.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Roasted Butternut Squash Kale And Farro Salad. I truly loved the look and taste of this salad but for some reason it did not perform well on Instagram or site traffic. Not sure why it wasn’t as well received - although it did well on Pinterest. Seems like it was bad timing and got completely overlooked.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Cheesy Sausage Stuffed Puff Pastry Appetizers. This was a delicious recipe but I didn’t think that it would go so viral. It’s just a few simple ingredients and the pictures are ok but I wouldn’t say it’s my best work. Some of the highest traffic on the website.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Juggling time has been the biggest challenge. I would love to do this full time because I love it, but its not feasible at the moment. I love creating content and the creative styling and photography process too and I wish I had more time to dedicate to all of those things. Maybe in the future.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Never compare yourself to others. Admire and never be jealous. Appreciate others doing the same thing and respect their work and support one another instead of compete. May not gain you too many followers but you stay happy and stay loving what you do.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I love A Cozy Kitchen. Adrianna is a hoot and she has a very pleasing to the eye kind of style.
Recipe Tin Eats. Nagi makes everything seem so easy. She has the cutest doggy as does Adrianna. She also gives a lot of tried and tested substitutions, along with ingredient info that’s helpful in trying or adapting her recipes.
The Lemon Apron. Jen is witty, a super foodie and introduces me to so many delicious foods and flavours. She is well travelled and well read and I want to be just like her when I grow up…….anytime now. LOL
Editor's Note - be sure to read our profile of The Lemon Apron.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
I asked my hubby to answer this question and he said ‘easy-everything’, and he is so not wrong about that. But something that is nostalgic and something that my mom makes for me every time I go home is her chicken and rice. It’s my comfort food and its probably due to it being tied up to a lot of emotion. Its simple and classic and just a great family meal.
What are you working on next for your blog?
Well.. March is pretty much wrapped up and I'm now planning for spring foods for April. We are also relocating back to Canada in June and so I'm super excited to be back home having access to Ontario grown goodness. Looking forward to berry season and cherry season and so much more. Before we wrap up here in Trinidad (we have ties here so we will be back and forth) we are also featuring some very well established resorts and their chefs - highlighting some of the twin islands signature dishes.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Im a registered dental hygienist and been practicing for almost 20 years (I started young lol!!)I specialise in orthodontics and love love my job especially working with kiddos. I love the outdoors and wish I had more time to be outdoors.
What makes your blog unique?
From experience, heritage and through my husband and his family, I have been exposed to a few cultures and I love to share them on the blog. Caribbean food is so different to Greek food and yet I love them both and love to share the love for both on my blog and also my take on their classic dishes. Im not a great baker but I do love baking and I share my love and (in)experience of baking, sharing recipes that will encourage people who think they aren’t bakers to bake, and possibly take away any fear of it.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
I love the kitchen geekery section because I always love to learn the specifics related to ingredients and I also love your featured foodies section too because I have discovered and connected with many other Canadien foodies and bloggers. I also love your social media tips that I have gotten from your emailing list as well as the gardening tips too. Cant wait to grow that rhubarb!
Follow Joanne and Olive and Mango on Social Media