Hunting for Mangoes

Some of the mango trees are still fruiting and dropping fruit on the ground. One advantage of riding a bike around town is knowing where these trees can be found. There is one near the entrance to our neighborhood, and another just a bit south of us that are my current targets.

716mangoes1

The mango tree near the entrance to our neighborhood

The mangoes from this tree are really good! They are flavorful, tender, and without the strings that you find in some mangoes. The other tree is dropping smaller mangoes but they bruise less when they hit the ground, and they are also very good.

One day's findings

One day’s findings

There are hundreds of mango trees around town, and some of them look huge and very old. They don’t all produce fruit every year but with that many trees there is always fruit somewhere. I thought mango season usually winds down when the rains come back in April but for some reason, some trees have fruit now in July.

Frozen mangoes ready to put in bags

Frozen mangoes ready to put in bags

Mangoes freeze well and we have a deep freeze, so I have been picking up mangoes almost every day. I peel them, cut up the fruit, lay them out to freeze and then package the pieces in bags. This works better for me than having one big hunk of frozen mango in a bag. Frozen mango makes a great treat, sort of like ice cream, or it can be used in smoothies or probably any recipe that calls for mango.

ready for storage in the deep freezer

ready for storage in the freezer

We also have frozen bananas. When one of our trees fruits it makes a bunch big enough to share and still have a lot left over. I like bits of banana in my oatmeal pancakes, or it’s good for smoothies or for just a frozen treat. There are also other fruits around town, lemons and other citrus, star fruit, cashew apples, and the other fruit that looks like a cashew apple but has a seed in the middle, and is a lot like an apple when cooked. I wouldn’t take anything growing that could belong to someone, but if the fruit is falling on the ground and not being used, why let it go to waste?

This reminds me of a Florida joke – Why do you have to lock your car in Florida? Because if you don’t, you’ll come back and find it full of citrus 😀  Here it’s mangoes because if you have big mango trees, you will have a lot of mangoes.

 

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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18 Responses to Hunting for Mangoes

  1. Heidi Lilla says:

    hi Kris
    this reminds me so much of Dominican Republic. We had huge mango and avocado trees. avocados can’t be frozen, so i usually brought them to a friend who has a restaurant at the beach. but mango also makes lovely jam (be sure to add some lime, including very finely chopped zest!) and chutney and i also used to make mango bread. that’s the same recipe as banana bread but just replace with mangoes! if your jam turns out to liquid, add some agar agar, or some pectin.
    cheers!

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    • Oh yes avocados! I forgot them. We have them too but I don’t find as many lying around, but I get a lot of gifts from people who have trees. I didn’t think about mango jam, or bread. Interesting, thanks, will have to try these ideas.

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  2. Linda says:

    What a treat to find them everywhere! I love mangos! Happy gathering! 😘

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  3. Mangoes! Yet another reason to move to Panama! Frozen ripe mangoes are good eating – simply left to thaw in a bowl at room temperature, you’d never know it was frozen (courtesy of Trader Joes).
    …We had fifteen mango trees in Granny and Grandpa’s compound outside Bangalore, India – different varieties. One tree was left alone for the birds, and the monkeys (mostly the monkeys). The others we harvested at just the right time and layered the fruit in straw in big round cane baskets which we stored under our beds. Then we waited, and they ripened. There’s nothing quite like the smell of ripening mangoes wafting through the house from under your bed.
    Green mangoes were used for making pickles and chutneys – huge jars of them. So many recipes from different parts of the country. The base was most often either sesame oil or mustard oil, and of course the ubiquitous spices.

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  4. There are so many mango trees here, many of them huge and quite old. I like frozen mangoes for a cool treat in the evening, and there are lot of other things to do with them as you well know. They eat green mangoes here with salt and someone told me you can also make salad with them. I need to ask for directions on that. I suppose anywhere there is an abundance of anything, the locals figure out many ways to use it.
    15 trees? My goodness, you must have had tons of mangoes!

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  5. Sunni Morris says:

    Wonderful you can freeze the mangoes for use later when the trees aren’t producing.

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  6. Carole says:

    Hello Kris, we have lots of mangos in St Croix. People let them drop all over the ground to rot. We do the same thing as you, if we see them we pick them up, the same as other tropical fruit that fall on the ground. We get lots of them and freeze them for when mango season is finished. We also did this for our shop so we always had mango for sorbet or Gelato throughout the year. We still have mango trees producing now. Some of our neighbors if they have too much papapas they just leave them out front of their house on the lawn for anyone to pick up. That is a good way to share what you have too much of. I planted two avocado trees, I am hoping to have them fruit before we leave the Island. They are huge and have been growing for at least 5 yrs so she should bare fruit soon.

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    • I think avocados take a long time to fruit. I had some in Florida for seven years that hadn’t produced yet. It’s great to have all that fruit in the area though

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  7. Yolande Scotland says:

    Kris, I keep the lovely pictures because they make me feel as though am at home in Montserrat how it used to be before the 1995 volcano eruption. Mangoes are very nutritious. Recently, I read that the skn of a particular specie is specially heathy to eat. The skin used to taste good touched with a little sea water while eating mango on the beach.

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    • People I know don’t eat the skin so I didn’t know it was good. I’ll have to try that.
      I had to look up Montserrat. What an amazing looking place. It sounds like the volcano is still a big concern though. Did you leave the island after the eruption?
      Thanks for stopping by the blog and for your comment 🙂

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  8. Noreen says:

    Hi Yolande, love your insightful comments on Kris’ mangoes and papaya posts. How interesting to see you’re from Montserrat where my friend was from, but seem to be living in Panama!

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