Monday, June 28, 2010

Mango Melee at the Botanical Garden

Yesterday the St. George Village Botanical Gardens hosted its annual Mango Melee, a big party in celebration of mango at the peak of its season.  There were mango exhibits, mango cooking competitions and a mango eating contest.  Here's an exhibit of the many varieties of mango available on the island.

Other tropical fruits in season were also exhibited.

In the gardens, vendors sold fresh mangoes and home-made delicacies.

The Mango Dis Mango Dat cooking competition showed off the versatility of this fruit as contestants entered drinks, sauces and desserts to be judged for flavor and creativity.

There were also lectures and workshops on growing mangoes and other tropical fruits. My friend Joanne White showed off her cooking prowess while teaching us the nutritional value of Mamey Sapote and Sapodilla.

We got a taste of a delightful milk shake and a pie made with sapodilla.  It was light and offered hints of pear. 

Joanne also prepared a chicken dish with Mamey Sapote, which reminded me of pumpkin.   
Eating Sapote cooked in a chicken dish was a new experience for me.  As a child in Colombia I remember opening the mamey sapote in half and eating the fiery orange pulp on the spot.  Nobody I knew cooked with it.  And here Joanne showed us how to infuse it with a little Pernod for a hint of anis.  It took Sapote right out of my childhood and into an elegant meal, all grown up.

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