I was enjoying my usual morning walk when something struck me, almost literally: the intoxicating smell of ripening mangoes. For many weeks, we’ve seen the fruit swelling on the trees. Like all fruit, they need rain at the right times to mature well. We’ve had many good rainy periods, somewhat more than usual in some places. The deluge we got a couple of weeks ago might have wreaked havoc in many communities, but I suspect was joy to many a mango tree. The peak is usually between April-June, so we are heading into the bumper period.
The sweet smell of ripe mangoes defies description: you can’t capture it on video, though you can see the changing colours, as fruit start to show varying degrees of yellowing to show ripening in underway. You cannot capture it well with sound: the thud of mangoes falling is quite noticeable, if you’re near a tree. But, like a tree falling in a forest, you don’t have to be there for a mango to fall. In recent days, as I’ve also gone about doing some gardening, a mango or two has fallen, and I get to see it roll under the broad leaves of pumpkin plants, where they could otherwise lay hidden for a few days. I find the best descriptor of a ripe mango is its taste: it tastes a nice as it smells 🙂
When the season is well underway, as now, it’s a good idea to walk with a bag or two. As I take my practice golf balls in a canvas sling bag, it doubles well as a mango carrier. This morning, I got a good haul of Julies, blackies, a few Bombays and what we in Jamaica call ‘a number’ (I dont know if it’s 11 or 7).
I love mangoes. So, I’m happy to eat them as they come, and they are refreshing on a hot day while playing golf–good caddies know to grab a few and make sure the supply is there ready. I will also take any that’s not wormy to put into my blender/juicer. Now, that we are living with two trees in the yard, the harvesting may get serious. I don’t want to see any wasted. Visitors can have if they are there when mangoes are ripe. Otherwise, I’m going to start cutting up and storing in the freezer–for juice or smoothie or jam, if the volume that goes uneaten in really large.
Happy times ahead.