Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jamaican Mango Time

It is that time of year again, Mango season. In Jamaica, mangoes are very popular and Mango season is one that is regarded second to Christmas. Everyone has their favourite types of mangoes and their least favourite. 
The types range from Common or stringy mangoes, which are the cheapest and most available types, to the East Indian(pictured above) and Julie mangoes, which are less available and more expensive. Mango season generally lasts from March to July each year.

Here is a folk song taught to me as a child that shows the significance of Mango season in Jamaica. 

Mango Time  
Mi nuh drink coffee tea mango time (I don't drink coffee during Mango Time)
Care how nice it may be mango time (I don't care how nice it is Mango Time)
At the height of the mango crop
When di fruit dem a ripe an drop 
(When the Fruits ripen and fall)
Wash your pot turn dem down mango time

Mek wi go a mango walk, mango time (Let's go to the Mango walk, Mango time)
For is only di talk mango time (Because it's all the talk, Mango time) - It's a really big deal.
Mek wi jump pon di big jackass (Let's jump on the big Jackass (donkey)
Ride im dung an no tap a pass (Ride him down and don't stop no matter what)
Mek di best a di crop, mango time (Let's make the best of this crop, Mango time)
This song is an ode to mango season and is simply speaking about the fact that the only thing on the menu during Mango Time is mangoes. 

I remember as a child my older sister and I would get up early in the mornings and pick up buckets of Common mangoes as a competition to see who could get more mangoes. We would also sit on the back porch and listen for mangoes to fall off the tree and race to see who could find it first. 

Even if you do not have mango trees of your own, relatives from the rural areas will bring mangoes as gifts when visiting.
Nutrition in Mango Time 

It is the norm for Jamaicans to simply take a container and select as many mangoes that can hold in it and consume them all in one go. For some, there is no other way to consume mangoes. Many persons see nothing wrong with this as they know that mangoes are fruits and this is the easiest and most fun way to consume their fruits.
However, mangoes are high in sugar much like other fruits. Consuming a large number of mangoes at once will result in a spike in blood sugar, which is dangerous for persons with diabetes. This also will contribute to weight gain.
Remember we are recommended 2-4 servings of fruit per day, so no matter how enthusiastic we are about Mango Time we still have to be able  to use moderation or else this will be our undoing.'

What are your favourite Mango time memories?


Armada Volya said...

I love mangoes, but I heard the once we get here aren't nearly as good as they should be, not that I'm surprised. Fruits that ripe on the tree and you can just pick it and eat it are always better then the once shipped over a few days :(
I am a fruitoholic though, used to clime up onto one fruit tree or another and sit there for hours eating fresh fruits. There are fruits that can actually help with diabetes though, apples for example help reduce sugar cravings. Fiber in fruts helps too.

Fantasy Art

Tanya said...

Yes that's true Armada, Friuts like Watermelon that have a higher water content and lower sugar content would be a better choice for persons living with Diabetes.
Living in a Tropical Island, especially during the summer, there's not much more to do than being outside in fruit trees having fun and getting sticky!
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