More Mango Musings
More Mango Musings
Every single year, I anticipate the arrival of the luscious sweetness of my favorite island fruit, the mango. I must not be alone, because the Annual Mango Festival just keeps getting bigger! More on that later.
Throughout Guam, the magnificent mango trees dot the island from one end to the other. Perhaps you’ve driven by and not even noticed, but they’re literally everywhere, in all shapes and sizes.
Have you had your mango quota yet? If not, I invite you to stroll through some of the local fruit and veggie stands to pick up a few. Of the several varieties found on Guam, my all time favorite is the local carabao mango — fully ripened, quite sweet and very juicy. If you prefer a tarter mango, you may like yours a little less ripe and still firm. Many locals pickle mango and sell them in jars. Most likely your nearest village store will have a jar on the counter. Whatever your taste, Guam has plenty of mangos to go around. Just make sure you get yours while they’re still in season.
Not sure what to do with a mango? Wash, peel, and eat! Repeat as desired. Blend with bananas and ice, mix in with desserts, no-bake cheesecakes, make mango sorbet, mango bread, mango cake. Or, how about a platter of mango-lime salsa and shrimp? Possibilities are endless. Mango margarita anyone? Ooooh, I might need to make a trip to the kitchen!
How about a dozen or so mango cheeks, some tequila, calamansi or lime, ice, a bit of sugar syrup and blend, pour into chilled glass?
Okay, now, how about that mango festival I mentioned? Well, fair warning, it gets packed. Go early so you get the best offerings. Because this is a popular event, it gets crowed and hot; shorts and a hat will help. A feast for the eyes as well as the palate, you’ll try mango smoothies, mango jelly, and see an array of color and texture. This year the Eigth Annual Agat Mango Festival is to be held June 7 and 8.
Local Mango vs. Philippine Mango
Local mango: Vitamin C 46%
Philippine mango: Vitamin C 46%
Both nutritional content may be the same, leaving the only differences to be size and flavor, but nothing beats getting for free, an exotic fruit(in surplus) plucked straight from a tree found in just about any village on Guam. Immense Mango trees line long stretches of roads in many southern neighborhoods. Around the months of January to April, the trees continue to teem with the aromatic fruits no matter how often they are harvested, locals filling grocery bags with green mangoes (to’a) for pickling, sliced and eaten with denanche, or salt and Tabasco, or shrimp paste (bago’ong). Ripe mangoes are usually stored in freezers for the convenience of making delicious smoothies and desserts all year long.
Planting: You can place the mango variety seed of your choice in a pot and wait for seedlings to appear after a few weeks. Some people are able to cultivate container or bansai mango trees in larger flower pots.
Suggested Recipes: Pickled mango, mango cream cheese cake, mango walnut shrimp
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