Were you wondering how many pounds of Mangoes I ate at the just concluded Mango Festival?
Were you wondering if it is possible to get sick from seeing lots of mangoes but NOT eating them at a Mango Festival?
YES! …yes you can.
It was with much anticipation that I attended this year’s Mango Festival. Having missed the event last year, I was sure to pencil it on my calendar the moment I spotted the advertisement. The night before the event visions of eating many sugary-sweet, sticky mangoes danced in my head. Little did I know that I was to be tantalized and tempted by the sight of but not the taste of mangoes.
So here is how I envisioned my date with mangoes:
There would be chilled samples of diced mangoes - nothing fancy, just plastic cups with little cubes of mango. The type of mango would be written on the cup and I would wear a HUGE complimentary mango festival bib because eating mangoes is a messy deal. Such was my conviction that I was going there to eat mangoes. My plan was to taste and cross off every sampled variety on my mango check list. Hell yeah I made a list. Laugh all you want. .
Okay so this is how it went down.
We arrived at 11:30am. and like a bee to honey I flew over to the first booth only to be told that the mangoes there were for display only. WHHAAT! Someone pinch me please I must be at the wrong festival. What do you mean I can't eat them?
On display are common, uncommon and rare mangoes. There was crowd and the booth was too small to accommodate us all. The gentleman from the Ministry of Agriculture was extremely fascinating and knowledgeable. Sure learned a lot about mangoes that day. Too bad I promptly forget it all the moment I left the booth.
A brochure with all that valuable information would have been nice. Then I could take it home and read at my leisure. There was no brochure and I came back non the wiser about the question which was asked in my previous post. “How many mangoes are there in Trinidad and Tobago?” I think I may have heard someone say 48 but I can’t be sure. Sorry guys.
Here is the little of what I remembered. The Julie is the only true dwarf mango. The Ministry guy's job at one time had been to travel around the country looking for unusual and rare mangoes. Cool. There was a detailed explanation about mangoes not growing true from seed….or something. But I had to move on as it was hot, it was crowded and I was wasting time. I was a woman on a mission. A mission called, Eat Many Mangoes.
Thankfully the Network of Rural Women Producers did not disappoint. The ladies here were charming and very generous with their samples. FINALLY, I was eating! Click here to see Veronica who is from Grenada. She makes these mango fruit rolls.
She had some larger ones which she says could be used as an outer layer for wrapping cakes. I don’t know Veronica those look like rolls of salami to me. Who would want to wrap their cake in mango flavoured salami? Still in the interest of research I tried them. I only photographed the minty mango but not the spicy mango since it looks exactly the same. I also tried the mango cheese (pâtes de fruit).
Man, oh man, that spicy mango is somethin’ I tell you. Forget the cake, I want to wrap myself in it! Reluctantly I tore myself away but not before I gave Vero ( my home and mobile phone numbers AND my email address). Girlfriend, call me we have to talk more about those mango cheeses (pâtes de fruit) drenched in dark chocolate! I like the way you think..
Next on the agenda were the mango beauty products.
here on my other blog. They call themselves the soap sisters. It must lots of fun to hang out and make soap together and these ladies were all smiles and laughter.
More soaps this time by Rachel.
Gorgeous all of them but not edible so I move on.
After walking around in the sweltering heat we all needed something to drink. The bar was not ready and there wasn't any change to be had for large bills. The mango ice-cream sounded refreshing but it arrived late and when the person was finally set up - again, no change!. This was by far my husband’s biggest grouse about the entire event. It was advertised to start at 10:00am. Shouldn’t everyone have been set up and ready to go from 10:00am?
Still we persevered…or rather my husband did as he looked after two very cranky kids while I tried my best to get me a taste of some of those curiously elusive mangoes.
Sadly no. It was not to be.
There was a lot to see but not much for the kids to do. So we left early because they were hot and bored.. We bought some very hard, very green Buxom Spice mangoes and called it a day.
Right, so here is the short story for you lazy bums who skipped to the end of this post.
The good: The Mango Festival is a hugely promising idea with lots of potential. I would love for it to be better organized. This was only it's 2nd year and I hope to see it grow and improve.
The bad: It could have been better organized with information brochures, a schedule of events and maybe a map of the layout to make navigating the event easier. Also am I the only one who thinks that a mango festival where you don't get to eat mangoes is just a crime of some sort?
Very little to hold the interest of children and believe me when children are bored it CAN get ugly.
The Festival itself was held on a farm and our ears perked up when it was announced that they could milk the cows. Unfortunately the groups were too large, the wait was too long and my kids got cranky.
Anyone else see the potential for fun that kids could have on a farm? Tractor rides anyone? I saw horses in the distance. How about a little once around on horseback? Maybe feeding the chickens and seeing the little baby peeps - my littlest would have had a time chasing after them.
*Wizzy was last seen sneaking around the neighbourhood looking for an ice-cream mango tree.