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#492054 - 06/09/14 05:06 AM Mangoes
Marty Offline

Variety of succulent mangoes available in the Village of Burrell Boom, Belize.

#505370 - 06/20/15 05:56 AM Re: Mangoes [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Fascinating Taxonomy Of Belize’s Favourite And Most Fetishized Fruit

At this time of the year - after the first rains – it’s a mango lovers’ feast, a veritable festival of flavours. But, in Belize, a mango is more than just a fruit – it’s like what snowflakes are to Eskimos: they have a thousand words for snow – and, if that’s true, Belizeans must have a thousand names for different kinds of mangos!

Of course, there are the well-known staples: Number 11, Slippers, and the ever popular Black Mangoes. But did you know about the obscure Tommy Hawkey, the buff Big Ben, the exotic Cambodiamas, cousins Sandy Shaw and Tanga Shaw, or the rare Gold mango? Well, I didn’t – and today I went to the market for an education in the fascinating taxonomy of Belize’s favourite and most fetishised fruit:…

Courtney Weatherburne Reporting....

With the mango season in full swing, walking through the market is like going through a garden of a thousand lights, each mango with it's own look and flavour. For the uninitiated, these are just mangoes but for the connoisseur of this succulent fruit, each mango has a story of its own.

That story begins here: with these small green and yellow spotted mangoes spread across a wooden stand to these full crimson coloured ones – stacked and piled in crates and boxes ready for sale.

Others are packed in buckets and are sold from a bicycle

While others line the street side.

It’s a feast for mango lovers out here, and while these fruits are visually appealing, there is another world beneath the skin.

Herere Dominguez - Mango Vendor, selling for 32 years

"Gold mango, very sweet to eat, sweater than number 11."

Courtney Weatherburne

"So which one would you say is the sweetest mango out of all of them?"

Herere Dominguez

"Black mango but some people like more - the 11."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Which one sells more for you?"

Herere Dominguez

"Number 11 and black mango. The black mango and the number 11 are the best."

Courtney Weatherburne

"How about the gold mango, tell us about the texture. How do you know it's gold mango?"

Herere Dominguez

"Well on the Mexican side they say it's gold mango, so when we came here they said that it's the same. Because the Mexican ones are just like these ones - only because these are green and these done ripe already."

These are just a few of many types of mangoes available on the local market.

Robertina Carrillo - Mango Vendor

"You have the manila, camboyanas, lovely mango are those. And hayden, tomihakee, number 11 and black mango."

Robert Lightburn - Mango Vendor

"The pretty big ones there are bombay, those are from India. This next one is the cambodiama - this is good because it would drop and they don't bruise or anything. And their very sweet, they don't have any hair. I think it's about the nicest mango we have right now."

And the list goes on, but the variety of mangoes isn’t the issue, the dispute lies in the smell and sweetness of the mango.

Robertina Carrillo - Mango Vendor

"Oh the number 11 and the black mango."

Courtney Weatherburne

"People like those the most?"

Robertina Carrillo


Courtney Weatherburne

"Why? Because their sweeter than the others?"

Robertina Carrillo

"Yes, they're sweeter"

Courtney Weatherburne

"What is your favourite?"

Robertina Carrillo

"The number 11."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Which type of mango would you say sell the quickest and is the sweetest?"

Mario Chan - 50 years old Mango Vendor

"Common sells too, blue mango, black mango, number 11 that sell more fast."

Courtney Weatherburne

"So you know a Mango by the smell and the look of it right?"

Mario Chan

"Yes, when the mango ripe, it smells nice and it's sweet."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Most of the mangoes are like that, right? When they're ripe they have a nice sweet smell."

Mario Chan

"Yes, the blue mango all the people like it, from Orange Walk to Belize. Then they one from Dangriga like the blue mango."

Ana Cowo - Mango Vendor

"This the manilla mango, this one has a flat seed and mostly meat. Now this is the hayden, everybody know this hayden mango in Belize. This is the nice mango, the hayden mango. This fleshy too. This one is the slippers mango. This one is not really - lot of people don't really know about this one but this one have a flat seed but it's not so sweet. It has a little sour sweetish taste in it. The cambodiama have a higher scent for the varieties I have right now. So the cambodiama have a higher scent and then the number 11 has high scent but I don't have none right. But this is the on that have the highest scent, cambodiama."

Maria Cowo - Mango Vendor

"There is a lot of type of mango but the only kind I have is the hayden mango and the black mango and the apple mango. But the one that sells more is the black mango and the apple mango, people like it."

While the vendors have their favourites and method of figuring out which mango is which, these mango lovers have their preference in taste.

Lovenia Anderson - Mango Lover

"My favourite mangoes are number 11, black mangoes and blue mangoes."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Why are those you're favourite?"

Lovenia Anderson

"They are my favourite because that is what I grew up on. I have no other choice, I don't know anything else about any other mangoes."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Tell us more about the taste, the flavour of the black mango. Why is it tasty to you?"

Lovenia Anderson

"The taste of the black mango is smooth, it's sweet, it doesn't leave hair in your teeth. Like wise the blue mango and the number 11."

Agnes Rhaburn - Mango Shopper

"I know about the black mango, the air mango."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Tell us about that air mango."

Agnes Rhaburn

"Air mango is a big mango, have very little hair, it's mostly smooth. I rather eat it when it just turn, I don't want it when it's really ripe."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Is the air mango your favourite? What is your story behind the air mango?"

Agnes Rhaburn

"I have no story behind it, all I know it's a mango that I'm use to and I love it because of the texture of it."

“Teddy Bear” - Mango Shopper

"You have big mango, small mango, black mango, hairy mango, air mango, julie mango but some people don't fuss with side. They one have they call the big ben, I don't know if you ever see that one. You can't bite he, you have to slice he and eat he. That is my favourite one because I like it big."

Kevin Campbell - Mango Buyer

"I enjoy this particular type of mango, number 11 mango because my foster mother loved this. She's dead and gone, god rest her soul - but I still eat it because of her. Number 11 and it's the best mango that you can find in Belize."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Why is it the best mango, tell us about the texture and flavour."

Kevin Campbell

"The flavour, it's so sweet. You could make - my son just did a smoothie for fair at his school and this is the mango that I bought for him. And he sold out, so number 11 - the texture is rich, it's no sweet, natural sugar. Then you have the hairy mango as well. It's a little bit sour. Then you have the larger ones that you could slice up for dessert etc. Belize, mangoes, this is the time for mangoes."

Most regular mangoes sell for about 5 for a dollar – the exotic and rare ones will cost a little more.

Channel 7

#514377 - 06/14/16 06:03 AM Re: Mangoes [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Many Moods of Mangoes

For fruit lovers, there's no better time of year than when mangoes truly "come een".

And they have for sure! Everywhere you turn, from the street corner to the supermarket to the produce market, the full abundance of and multiplicity of mangoes surround us.

But which is your favourite? Is it the Black Mango, Number 11, Slippers…or maybe something more exotic like the cousins Sandy and Tanga Shaw, or the super rare, Gold Mango?

Courtney Weatherburne went to the Michael Finnegan market for an education in the fascinating taxonomy of Belize's favourite and most fetishised fruit:...

Channel 7

Mango Cutting Demonstration

Antonio "Dudu" Novelo demonstrating how to prepare a mango in Yo Creek

#517119 - 08/26/16 12:56 PM Re: Mangoes [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Majestic Mango

Stately, massive mango trees are the glory of a tropical farm. No other fruit is anticipated with such eagerness; no other fruit tree is so abundant to the point of overwhelming when they bear well. The varieties are as different as apple varieties and each one may have its own loyal devotee.

Grafted mango trees begin to bear from 2 to 3 years from planting and continue for many, many years. As I write, the view through one of the windows of our house is fully dominated by the foliage of a mango tree about 20 yards away; it may be 40 years old and is bearing again this year. It used to bear only a type of mango known locally as “Eleven” or “Black” mango, a small flavorful but extremely hairy mango prized by Belizeans. Some years ago my husband sawed off all the main branches but one, and when young shoots sprouted out, grafted on them a variety called Haden, which we wanted to have on our farm in order to supply graft wood for the nursery. The power of the old tree pushed the young shoots to grow much faster than a young tree grows; so within a year or two we had again a busy, full-sized mango tree now bearing Haden mangoes, with the exception of one branch. That one still bears Black mangoes as a memorial, and to satisfy hungry local visitors.

The main hindrance to mango fruiting is the blight that frequently occurs when the weather is rainy at the time of blooming in the winter. Sometimes they can blossom 2 or 3 times and still blight, or finally set. This year we have a Cambodiana tree that set some normal, early fruit, but then still bloomed near the end of the dry season when blight was not a threat, to set a good crop that in July were 1 inch small green mangoes as the early crop is already ripening.

Mangoes drop from the tree when ripe, and, if the tree is tall, can bruise or smash. Therefore, picking mature but green mangoes from the tree is recommended for most varieties which “after-ripen” well.

Mango consumption begins before the fruit is mature, when green drops are gathered, peeled, sliced and eaten with salt and pepper or vinegar. They can also be cooked as a vegetable, resembling potatoes with a sour flavor. Individuals who are hungry for applesauce can cook, mash and sweeten green mangoes for this purpose. In an ironic twist, one Belizean expatriate has her sister send her canned green mango sauce in the US, to satisfy her longing for tropical apple replacements in the land of apples.

When the fruit is mature, mango consumptions really begins. You will want to eat as many raw as possible. They can, of course, be used in muffins, pies, and cobblers, but they are so good “as is” that we hardly do. They can also be preserved in a number of ways. Either sauce or pieces may be canned with or without sugar; if packing raw, do not fill the jars quite to the neck, as they tend to foam up while cooking, which can hinder sealing. This tendency can be countered by not removing the jars immediately from the boiling water; let them cool off in the canner for half an hour or so first. They can be packed down and canned in their own juice or packed loosely and covered with water and a little sweetener: 1 teaspoon of sugar is enough per quart, as mangoes are already sweet. Mango sauce from ripe mangoes is made by putting raw or cooked mango through any type of food strainer, even as simple as a colander. Mango sauce can be eaten “as is” or diluted with water for a beverage, alone or in combination with other juices or added to smoothies.

Drying mangoes works well, but not outdoors in sunshine; they are too juicy and will ferment and attract many flies before they are dry. Various solar dryers may be used; we use a stovetop dryer based on a double boiler principle. Using this method, mango slices can be dried, but even more commonly we fill up the pan with approximately 1 inch layer of mango sauce and dry it down to the best fruit leather you’ll ever taste. It will dry faster if you stir it occasionally in the juicy stage; when half dried, smooth it well and leave it undisturbed until dry. When leathery, cut into strips, peel it off the pan, roll it up and store it in tight containers.

Mango varieties are very different from each other, more so than many other fruits. For this reason, you will want to be familiar with the more common grafted varieties available. You can grow good mangoes from seed, but like apples, mangoes are not true to type and may yield a very different fruit than the parent three did. It may be nice, but it may also be small and hairy or have other undesirable characteristics. In our neighborhood there are seedling mango trees yielding outstanding fruits that are named and prized by their owners. But if you want to be sure to have good mangoes, you should plant grafted trees. The following is a catalog of mago varieties we appreciate, most of which we carry in our nursery, although not all of them at all times. The following varieties are listed roughly by earliest to latest harvest times:

Glenn: good-sized, smooth and mild tasting mango with a pretty, colorful skin. It tends to get wormy more than some varieties, but Glenn is the earliest mango we know of.

Cambodiana: (our favorite early mango) fairly small, yellow, fibreless mango, delicious raw and prized as one of our best canners. It is also valued as a solid mango that does not bruise as easily as other varieties.

Tommy Atkins: big red mango popular in the market, not the best-tasting or most fibreless but dependable and heavy bearing. When Tommy are abundant, I use a lot for mango leather after straining out the hair.

Julie Dwarf: rather small mango with a uniquely delicious flavor from a truly dwarf tree that does not bear very dependably.

Early Gold: juicy mango with such a tough skin that it can be bitten open, squished up, and sucked out (prized by children). Early Gold is also good for juice and sauce.

Haden: (an old variety well-known by older Belizeans) big and yellow-green, similarly well-liked as Tommy Atkins.

Carrie: not very big, very soft with a special flavor you can’t beat.

Palmer: an oblong, delicious red mango on a vigorous tree that grows tall and bears well.

Kent: a big, tasty and smooth mango, good for canning.

Keitt: green, delicious, huge – weighing from 2 – 6 pounds, late, and a good seller.

Gabb Julie: sweet and tasty when ripe, one of the latest, sometimes even later than Keitt, often bearing quite heavily.



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