Mango is indigenous to India and is cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions with a broad distribution worldwide. Its scientific name is Mangifera indica and the fruit is extensively use for its juice, flavor, fragrance, color, pickle and fresh fruit.
In Belize the mango has a long history since countrywide, we can appreciate old mango trees along the highway while entering any of our villages or towns. The mango season in Belize varies from year to year since its flowering pattern is triggered by climatic condition, mostly moisture stress and a change in day and night temperature.
There are many varieties of mangoes in Belize which produces a wide range of color, texture, flavor, and shape. Mangos can basically be classified in two major categories: Local and commercial varieties.
Some of the more popular local varieties are Judgewig, Number Eleven, Blue Mango, Julie, Slipper Mango and Thundershock. These varieties vary in color, flavor, firmness, taste and shape/size, fibrous or hairiness. These mangos are generally tasty, small in size and posses the disadvantage of having a very short shelf life.
In addition to the known local varieties some new varieties have emerged on a continuous basis because some varieties are compatible with each other producing fruit of undesirable nature. This is the main reason why mangos are usually grafted so as to provide the growers with a plant that have defined properties and qualities.
The most common commercial varieties that are normally grafted are the Haden, Kent, Keitt, and Tommy Atkins. These varieties normally have good size, taste, appearance and a long shelf life which makes it the preferred fruit for the supermarket and exportation. Some important facts about mangoes in Belize Mango trees produce more fruit and are better quality along the coast.
The term refer to as burning of flowers is, in fact, a fungal disease which is called Anthracnose which thrives when there is excessive moisture during flowering. The belief that rain causes mango to become infested with worms (Larvae) is incorrect. The reality is as the season progresses the fruit fly population increases. Fruit flies lay eggs on mangos which develop into larvae which feed on the pulp of the fruit. This whole scenario peaks at the beginning of the rainy season causing these false impressions.
Belizeans can enjoy mangos for many months since we can eat them when they are “green”, “turn”, “ripe”, and “over ripe” in jams and jellies. Most Belizeans anxiously await the mango season or have some sort of child hood experience that pertains to the mango season. Contributed by Mr. S. Willacey – Agriculture Development and Services Ltd., Dangriga, Belize.
Belize Mango Smoothie
Recipe Type: Smoothie
Author: M.A. Romero
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Nothing beats the summer heat like a refreshing and nutritious mango smoothie
1 ripe large mango (Hayden or Tommy Atkins suggested), peeled, diced and chilled
1 banana, peeled
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup orange juice and 6 ice cubes
Blend the orange juice, yogurt and banana until well mixed.
Next add the ice cubes and mango and continue blending until the mango is well blended and mixed in.