Mango Festival 2018: Hopkins was Actually Bursting with Mangos

FACT:  There isn’t a more magical fruit than the mango.  Sweet with a tart, almost pine-y twang…for those who live in colder climates, it is a taste of the exotic.  For those who live in the tropics, it’s a taste of the bounties of summer.

Also a shocking fact (or so says the world wide web) – it is the most eaten fresh fruit in the world.

This past weekend, the first weekend of June, the village of Hopkins, Belize celebrated the king of fruits – the MANGO.  (Here’s my visit in 2015)

It comes in many colors, countless sizes and shapes, it can be tart and sweet, smooth or hairy and it can be made into all sorts of things.

I was there to taste as much as I could.  Here’s a look at some of the festivities.   The weather was a bit iffy.  And my timing poor to very poor (I seemed to arrive at the fete in the middle of the village too early or just as it was about to start raining…I missed a bunch of the amazing live music but, still, I had such a good time.)

The kids were limbering up for the festival…an open yoga session.

There was also this.  My deluxe treehouse at the GORGEOUS Hamanasi Resort was calling me.  I can’t wait to tell you about my experience there.

But back to the festival.

Events from a dory fishing tournament to drink contests and zip lining…and lots and lots of live music.

Miss Emma and her huge family had a booth selling mangos and mango smoothies and a gorgeous suckling pig.  Which smelled so good that most of the village dogs were standing around it just hypnotized.

Beautiful Miss Emma.  I didn’t get a chance to go to her HUGE farm on this trip but I went 3 years ago.  One of the coolest experiences I’ve had in Belize.  Seriously.

I was wondering.  Who is going to buy mangos?  When the village is dripping with them.

Black mangoes.

When even the local fruit stand has a mango tree hanging over it.

When there are chickens feeding on the fallen mango.

Tons of black mangos.

But Miss Emma’s mangos are SO big and SO smooth and SO sweet that people were buying them for festival snacking for $5bzd.

My mind went to work.  $5bzd in Hopkins equates to $10-12bzd in San Pedro – where mangos are imported from the mainland or from Mexico.  A mango tree can produce up to 1500 mangos when fully mature.

Sure they come all at once but still…

Is it too soon to start interviewing for seasonal workers – pickers and security guards?  To buy an extra boat for transfer?  And countless chest freezers…hmmm….

I had to get some mango trees for Cayo Frances Farm & Fly.  But back to the fest.  More pictures.

And always one of the most popular “booths” – the gambling guy.  He throws open this board and attracts a circle of people in less than a minute.

Gambling and trampolines are huge.

Chef Sean Kuylen was making mango everything.  Conch fritters with mango aioli.  The aioli was delicious on everything.

Pibil tacos with tart sweet mango salsa.  SO GOOD.  I even did a brief interview on LoveFM about how good his food was.

Now…how can we talk Chef Sean into taking his restaurant on wheels for San Pedro’s Lobster Festival.  Hmmm…

I stopped in to Marie Sharp’s tent to try her newest products.  And left with the new competition for A-1 Steak sauce.

The #1 ingredient?  Green mango.

But honestly, I was most giddy about one thing.  My new future as the Mango Queen of San Pedro.  Four trees – all Phillippine Golden Mango – that I needed to get on Tropic Air on the way home.

And I did.   My plan was to tell them that they were “comfort trees” but Tropic was AMAZING.  They didn’t even flinch.  Luggage is luggage.  And my trees made it to San Pedro easily.

Along with a box PACKED with a starter FLOWER kit from the wonderful gardens at Hamanasi.  Flowering ginger and heliconia and BIRDS OF PARADISE!  10 plants that will produce THIS!

I’m beyond excited.  3 to 5 years from now?  I can’t even wait.

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