Mango Time マンゴータイム

When asked to describe her favourite food as a child growing up, she quipped that she was always very slim because she was not a big fan of the pot. That said however, growing up in Kingston was a blessing. For Cherise, the best gift from nature ever is without a doubt mangoes. Mangoes make Cherise’s “Heart Dance.” Traditionally, mango season are in the summer months of June and July predominately. But in Kingston, where everyone who has a backyard has at least one mango tree, mangoes have no seasons. Some people believe this is because most Kingstonians have zero sense of planting things.

For regular people who loved their “Brown Stewed Chicken with Rice and Peas” or “Stew Peas and White Rice,” mangoes are the only thing which make people in Jamaica forget about food. When it is mango season in Jamaica, many people put away their pots. They eat mangoes for breakfast, mangoes for lunch and mangoes for dinner. The importance of mango season to Jamaican is beautifully portrayed in the Jamaican folk song below:



Mi nuh drink kaffee tea Mango time. The Jamaica Folk Singers.
Mi nuh drink coffee tea mango time
Care how nice it may be mango time
In the heat of the mango crop
When di fruit dem a ripe an drop
Wash your pot turn dem down mango time

De turpentine large an fine, mango time
Robin mango so sweet, mango time
Number eleven an hairy skin
Pack di bankra an ram dem in
For di bankra mus’ full, mango time

Mek wi go a mango walk, mango time
For is only di talk mango time
Mek wi jump pon di big jackass
Ride im dung an no tap a pass
Mek di best a di crop, mango time

[Turpentine = Stringy; Bankra = Straw Basket]

Back in the good old days, some families would put dozens of mangoes in a big pudding pan filled with water and the family and friends would all sit in the yard around this pudding pan under the moonlight and eat mangoes all night long. Some people often reminisce about those multiple times when they would get some extra proteins from accidentally biting into a mango with a fruit fly larvae or two in it. This they attest made the mango much tastier especially when the night was pitch dark because of one of the frequent power cuts.

Now to have a better appreciation of the significance of mangoes to Jamaican, it is important to understand mango royalty blood lineage. The King of mangoes is the East Indian and his Queen is Julie. Their Prince and Princess are Haden and Robin respectively. Then the Duke and Duchess are Bombay and Beefy mangoes. The Count and Countess are Number 11 and Longy. The most abundant are the common mangoes called Stringy and Blackie. These are only to over 100 different varieties of super flavourful and mouth wateringly breath-takingly delicious mangoes found in Jamaica.

For Cherise licking the juice from the mango draining through her fingers and down the back of her lower arm took her mango experience on an intergalactic journey. This was especially true when she was treated to her two favourite mangoes – East Indian (called Eastie) which was truly celestial and Black Mango (called Blackie) which for her taste buds was amazingly cosmic. Like many Jamaican, when Cherise was done with her mangoes, the seeds became white and dry.

In Ghana, Cherise feels right at home. Not only are many people of African descent in the Americas originated from Ghana, but she has found to her surprise being there has brought back many fond memories of Jamaica. She is especially thrilled that unlike Jamaica, Ghana has two mango seasons. Now she can enjoy her favourite food for half of the year. That said however, there is no mango in the world tastier than any of the more than mangoes varieties found in Jamaica. Perhaps the reason for the mesmerizingly incredibly delicious mangoes from Jamaica which hits your palate like a kaleidoscope of unbelievable flavours is due to the rich alluvium soil and an abundance of warmth of the people just like the majestic sunshine which brightens its shores.

No trip to Jamaica is ever complete without eating any one of our over a hundred species of Jamaica mangoes. Cherise will say Blackie and East Indian are a must. Others will say it must be Stringy, some Bombay. For others it is Julie, Haden, Robin and Number 11. One thing is for sure, no matter which ones you eat, you will want a whole lot more. When mangoes see Cherise coming they have to run fast. Otherwise, they will surely be eaten.

Interviewed and Written by Radcliffe Lennox
Translated by Shiho Owada

どんなにお茶がおいしくてもそれはいりません マンゴーだけが欲しい
お鍋を洗ってそのお鍋をしまいこんで マンゴーをたくさん食べる

ストリンジー、マンゴーは良いサイズ、とってもおいしそう マンゴータイム

マンゴー狩へ行きましょう マンゴータイム
人々はマンゴーのことしか話をしない マンゴータイム
最高のマンゴーを見つけるまで マンゴータイム






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