Photo by Martei Korley
Summer in Jamaica means mangoes. While the season begins as early as April, it’s during the weeks nearest the solstice, when days are at their longest, that this most quintessential of Caribbean fruits is in highest demand.
Pictured here is a bounty of Greengage or ‘Fluxy’ mangoes — no one was really sure — freshly harvested from Westmoreland. These and many more buckets began an all-day journey from Jamaica’s westernmost parish to remote villages deep in neighboring Hanover, to be sold by the dozen in districts without ripe mangoes. In true Jamaican fashion, a great many were given away to those who couldn’t afford the purchase.
These were so sweet and thin-skinned that they were difficult to eat while fully ripe. For the novice, eating green mangoes can be a dangerous proposition. Fully ripe ones, unlike the watery Tommy Atkins variety bred in the States for their uniform color, are full of vitamins A and C, and alkaline. Don’t let the black spots fool you. In this case they are a quality stamp and a mark of honor, not an imperfection.