For a second year in a row, Hopkins held an all day Mango festival. Year round, this fruit is enjoyed by the villagers, but there is abundance in the mango season, which starts as early as May or June. So to avoid letting the fruit go to waste, last year, BTIA in Hopkins decided to hold the annual Mango Festival, where they highlight the many uses of Mango, particular in food and drinks. On Saturday, despite the inclement weather, Hopkins Mango Festival was a hit in that southern village. News Five’s Andrea Polanco joined in the festivities and tried out some new mango treats.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Mango, as you may know is one of the most delicious and nutrient based fruits; but what you might not know, is that the best mangoes are found in Hopkins. Hailed, ‘king of fruit’, mango gets its own festival in this coastal community. The residents explore the many uses of this fruit, which would grow in abundance around the village. Whilst this year’s crop isn’t as bountiful as previous year’s, Reva Dark of the BTIA, Hopkins says it won’t stop the ‘ode to the mango’:

Reva Dark

Reva Dark, Festival Coordinator, BTIA Hopkins

“We usually have such a surplus of mangoes; this year, we didn’t but that’s not a reason to don’t have a party. Usually mangoes are lying in the road spoiling; there are more than fifteen varieties of mangoes in Hopkins alone and they’re wonderful. You never see anyone during mango season who isn’t eating a mango. It’s just part of what Hopkins is, it’s just mangoes everywhere, it’s like drumming in Hopkins; it’s mangoes everywhere in Hopkins.”

Apart from the traditional use of mango, which is just peeling and eating it; the Hopkins community has come up with creative ways to use and eat this tasty fruit. One resident made an entire meal of barbecue, rice and salad incorporating the mango in each element of the dish. Others used their creativity in Mango Ceviche, Gazpacho and Salsa:

Andrea Polanco

“Let’s talk about the Ceviche, how did you guys come up with this idea?”

Jonathan Natividad, Filipino Group

“It was actually my dad’s brilliant idea and you’ll see that it’s not actually the ripe mangoes because if you put the ripe mangoes in there it will just melt and it won’t be nice; so he takes the green mangoes and he pickles it using a secret Filipino pickling recipe and then we slice it and the rest of it is basically his secret Filipino Ceviche recipe.”

Owner, Frog’s Point Restaurant

“We love salsa; red or green salsa and you can make it with mangoes too with habaneros inside and a little bit of onions and garlic and so it’s a mango salsa.”

Andrea Polanco

“Awrite and it has been a hit so far with your patrons?”

Owner, Frog’s Point Restaurant

“Yes, yeah.”

Caitlyn

Andrea Polanco

“I’ve never had Mango Salsa before, how did you guys come up with the idea?”

Caitlyn, Holy Family School PTA

“Well, I like salsa and sometimes I put a little mango, a little pineapple in my salsa because it cuts the acidity a little bit of the tomato, so it’s just fresh tomatoes, red and white onions, cilantro, chopped garlic cut really small, ripe mangoes, a little bit of lime and salt pepper, it’s as simple as that.”

Lilliana Coster, Diversity Cafe

“Gazpacho is a cold summer soup originally from Spain; I am from south America, the original is tomato base with cucumbers, onions, garlic, cilantro and lime; my twist to this is mango and instead of tomato based, it is freshly squeezed orange juice and but it still has a little green pawpaw, cilantro and hot peppers because we love hot peppers.”

Andrea Polanco

Lilliana Coster

“Awrite, so not only is it tasty but also healthy as well?”

Lilliana Coster

“Extremely healthy because in the entire pot there was only a little bit of olive oil but it’s a great refreshing soup.”

Andrea Polanco

“Mhmm…I like it, it’s slightly spicy but also very refreshing…It’s really good.”

Ellen Nunez

And while Mango makes some delicious healthy recipes; vendors made mango cakes, jams, pies, and breads for those with a sweet tooth. But you might want to try mango ideal, fruit salad and sorbet for a sweet treat:

Ellen Nunez, Holy Family School PTA

“Basically, I just made the mango juice and blend it with ginger and add sugar on to it.”

Andrea Polanco

“Awrite, so how much these ideals going for today?”

Ellen Nunez

“Fifty cents.”

Andrea Polanco

“Okay, so do you make the mango ideals year round when it’s mango season or only for today?”

Ellen Nunez

“It’s the first time I’m making them today.”

Andrea Polanco

“Awrite, so I’m going to try the ideal and see if Ellen’s ideal is the mango ideal in Hopkins right?”

Andrea Polanco

“It’s definitely really good and I would like to tell you that you need to start making this, every time it’s mango season, what do you think?”

Ellen Nunez

“Yeah, I guess I will give it a try.”

Jonathan Natividad

Jonathan Natividad

“This one, we call ‘buku salad’ but if we write ‘buku salad’ on the menu, they are going to not understand, what buku salad is so we put mix fruit medley and what this usually is, is coconut and mix fruits like a fruit cocktail but since this is mango fest, we just add some nice ripe mangoes in there.”

Andrea Polanco

“Awrite, so is it sweet? What’s the flavor like?”

Jonathan Natividad

“Yes, it’s very sweet almost like a dairy flavor like a milky way kinda thing but fruit and sweet naturally from the fruit.”

Owner, Frog’s Point Restaurant

“We do our sorbet; it’s only from the fruit and only a little taste of sugar inside and so yeah it’s like an ice-cream. It’s very smooth and then it’s frozen. You can eat it with a cake like a topping if you like it.”

Also a hit at the Hopkins Mango Festival was Gallon Jug’s Mango Tango Sauce:

Rocio Jimenez

Rocio Jimenez, Sales Rep., Bowen & Bowen

“Today we feature the Mango Tango, which is something like a marinade, it is good with chicken, steak and beef; it is really good.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

Channel 5