MANGO SEASON IN BELIZE
It's mango season here in Belize. Belize enjoys about 20 different varieties of mangoes.
Most people are familiar with mangoes, but for those of you who are not, a mango is a fruit only grown in the tropical areas of the world. It is one of the most delicious fruits in the Caribbean. The taste is hard to describe, but the closest thing I've heard is that of a Japanese persimmon.
Mangoes vary in shape and size and have many different name. To name just a few of the more popular ones: 1) Julie, 2) Slipper, 3) Sugar, 4) Thundershock,
5) Number Eleven, 6) Bellyful, 7) Blue, 8) Judgewig 9) Apple, 10) Common, and 11) Hairy.
Mango blossoms are small pink flowers covering the trees beginning in January. They transform into tiny green mangoes around May then slowly fill out and acquire a reddish tint in readiness for the rain showers in June that put the ripening touch to a mango. By that time the colors range from blue to red to yellow and when cut there is a flat white seed in the middle surrounded by firm, juicy, yellow flesh.
The more common varieties like the "Common" and 'Hairy' mango are delicious but filled with fibers that get stuck between your teeth, while the bigger mangoes that are special grafted varieties and the ones they export, have very few if any fibers.
All mangoes when they are unripe are 'green'. You need to be careful how you eat them, as the seed (flux) inside is soft, and if eaten can give the person a massive bellyache. There are 4 stages, that a mango goes through. Step One: the green stage. Step Two: the turn stage. Step Three: the ripe stage. Step Four: the overripe stage.
So the question is now, what is a turn mango? A turn mango, is a mango that is half-ripe & half-unripe - with firm flesh that is slightly sweet and can be eaten with no problem. Overripe mangoes are usually squishy to the touch, ooze juice when bitten and are best used for mango juice.
Here is Belize, many produce road side stands (such as myself), will sell sliced mangoes in plastic bags, which can be eaten fairly easy by locals, tourist, and children after school.
Mango season in Belize, isn't just about eating mangoes, it's about how you got your mango. Everyone loves a story about where they found the best mangoes. I have gotten them from Mennonite farmers, taxi rivers, local fisherman and mainland suppliers and even picked them off the trees myself.
Next time you're in Belize, stop by Maria's Produce Stand for your next mango.