Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mango Season is finally here!

     Mango season is finally upon us here in South Florida!  Yippee!! Whether you are visiting here or live here I am sure you have seen these huge trees loaded with large oblong fruits just hanging mid air.  Those my friends...are mangoes....delicious, juicy, delightfully yummy fruit that will make your brain and taste buds tingle with joy!

     The mango is an old world stone fruit (meaning it has a big seed in the center like a peach) with it's roots tracing back to India and Southeast Asia.  Believe it or not this fruit has been around for thousands of years.  Though the mango of old was no where near as tasty as the fruit we enjoy today.  Through cultivation and hybridization we have created some amazing varieties of this fruit from all over the world.  The mango is known as the "king of fruit" as it plays important roles in many countries for medicinal, ceremonial and culinary purposes.  Long ago in India, only royalty could grow and eat the mango.  Like the citrus family, only until recently (the past fifty+ years) has the mango been grown for commercial purposes.  So now everyone can enjoy this tasty fruit.
On a recent trip to Homestead, FL to purchase plants
for a landscape job, these Haden mango trees were
at the entrance of the nursery.
     Florida is best known for it's 'Kent', 'Tommy Atkins', 'Haden', 'Keitt', 'Hatcher', 'Cogshall', 'Edward', 'Glenn', 'Carrie' and 'Zill' varieties of mango.  Mango trees can live a very long time, anywhere between 100-300 years, yup that's right!  They can also can get very large (30-40ft high x wide) though there are some mango tree's that can be maintained at 10-15ft high called "condo mangoes".  So before you buy a mango tree there are a few elements to consider: the location in your yard, size of tree, and the variety of the mango.   Once you have figured that out then off to the nursery to select your tree.
Our Nam Doc Mai mango (a 'condo mango') tree in bloom earlier
this year.  Unfortunately I was heavy handed with
the copper fungicide for anthracnose & it didn't make it :(
     If you enjoy mango's as much as I do but don't have a tree (unfortunately I killed mine this year) then you can place your name on the Hatcher Mango Hill mango waiting list.  Hatcher Mango Hill is located in Lake Worth, Florida (by West Palm Beach)  They are best know for their family's very own hybrid, the delicious 'Hatcher' mango, but they also have 'Haden' and 'Zill' mangoes.  When the mangoes are ready throughout June, July &  August (depending on the variety) they call you to come pick up your order.  Live out of state or want to send a gift to a loved one, they will ship them for you.  How easy is that!?!   Though if you do have a yard that can lend itself to a mango tree then you can head over to one of South Florida's amazing family run nursery's, Pine Island Nursery.  They are located right in my home town of Miami (down the street from where I grew up), I just love supporting such greatness!  For some of you it may be a trip but oh what a trip it will be, lol, seriously though, Pine Island Nursery is filled with a plethora of tropical fruit tree goodness!  I guarantee you will leave with more than just one tree.  It's a good thing!

     Every variety of mango has it's own unique shape, smell, taste, color and texture.  Some have more fiber in the fruit meat, some have a large pit/seed in the center, some are very small while others can be over 5lbs., some are bright orange inside while others are pale lemon color, and so on.  So my advice...try as many as you can, you may not like a 'Julie' mango but may love a Thai mango.  Some of the best places to try different varieties are at local farmer's markets, local Internatioal markets, the actual mango farm and our very own Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's 20th Annual Mango Festival held this year July 14th & 15th.  If you are on Florida's west coast, Mango Mania - Pine Island's Fruit Fair is July 21st & 22nd at Cape Coral's German American Club.

     My top three mangoes are #1 for sure is 'Nam Doc Mai' from Thailand,
Pine Island Nursery photo
#2 is the 'Po Pyu Kalay' from Thailand and
Pine Island Nursery photo
#3 is a tie between the 'Hatcher' & 'Zill'.
Hatcher mango
Pine Island Nursery photo
     My mango love is mango juice...totally amazing & really easy!!!  Step 1: cut up your favorite mango into bite size pieces, place in freezer bag & freeze.  Step 2: when ready to make your juice, place about a cup to 1 1/2 cups of your frozen mango pieces into blender.  Step 3: add about 1/3 cup of water or until mango pieces start to blend smoothly.  Depending on how you like it you can add more water for a juice consistency or less water for a smoothie consistency.  Step 4: drink and enjoy!

     One of my favorite fellow bloggers, Leah at, just recently posted a fabulous receipe for mango avocado salsa...delicious!  While you are there, also check out her raspberry mojito as well as many other amazing posts!  Thanks so much Leah!
Mango avocado salsa from Leah at
    My 'ab fab' tropical artist is Peter C. Bailey whom I met back in 2004 at Coral Reef Park Art Festival.  I immediately fell in love with his watercolor artwork, bought a gilcee though wish I could purchase an original.  Peter unfortunately passed away in 2009 though a selection of his work is still available through his widow Lisa.
Peter C. Bailey
'Three Hibiscus'
Peter C. Bailey
'Mystery Mango'
Peter C. Bailey
'Dark Green Mango'
Peter C. Bailey
'Vertical Mangoes'
     Hopefully I have tantalized those tropical tastebuds of yours!  So get ready to enjoy some of the best fruit that Florida has to offer all throughout June, July & August.  Then get ready for Avocado season in August & September.  Oooohhhh sooo good!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Best wishes,

1 comment:

  1. Marilynn from Hatcher Mango Hill emailed me that my mango order is ready for pick up...soooo with much anticipated waiting I get my Hatcher mangoes tomorrow, YIPPEEE!!!