The Mango Festival is over for another year and much thanks goes out to the Belize Tourism Industry Association of Hopkins. The event lasted for 2 days and from what I hear it was a successful event. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend but I did prepare a small recipe booklet for my colleagues to hand out at the festival.
Mango Festival in Hopkins is a time to celebrate the abundance of this delicious, healthful, wonderful fruit. It lends itself to such a variety of mixed uses that I think it’s near impossible to exhaust the possibilities.
From pesticide, to medicinal uses, to hygiene care, to alcoholic, appetizer, main course, desserts and accompaniments, the mango provides delightful flavours for many people. Its leaves are used for Puja purposes (Hindu Devotion), its twigs are used for brushing teeth and it is considered of high regard to be cremated using mango firewood. Another interesting fact on the mango is the longevity of the tree. It has been known to live 400-500 years. Can you imagine how many mangos that tree will produce?
And then that fruit, that delicious, light orange, pulpy fruit. From the first cut of the skin to the last slurp off the pit, the mango provides such delectable tastiness that sometimes one just isn’t enough.
Mango has also become an important consideration in the treatment of cancer, reducing the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and it also promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
The village of Hopkins has so many mango trees lining the streets, they are there for the picking. Last year my husband picked almost 300 pounds and we turned them into chutney, jam, and a lot of good eating. This year he hasn’t made it out yet to pick but I seem to have a really good friend here in the village. He has a tree in his yard so each morning he picks up what has fallen and brings a bunch to me. Thanks friend!
One of the things that used to puzzle me was how to cut a mango properly and then I found some instructions. Now it’s a piece of cake.
How to Cut a Mango
- The mango has a large oblong-shaped pit that is relatively flat in the centre of it.
- Holding the mango with one hand, stem side down, try to imagine how the pit is placed inside the mango.
- With a sharp knife, cut from the top of the mango down one side of the pit. You may run into it, but with practice you will get good at it.
- Repeat with the other side.
- You will end up with 3 pieces, the two halves, and the middle section which contains the pit.
- Take a mango half and use a knife to make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in it, but try not to cut through the peel.
- At this point you may be able to peel the segments right off of the peel with your fingers. Or, you can use a small paring knife to cut away the pieces from the peel.
- Take the mango piece with the pit, lay it flat on the cutting board. Use a paring knife to cut out the pit and remove the peel.