My First Chamoy and Mango At the Cutest Stand

Early this week, I had my first taste of chamoy. Chamoy, for those who have never heard of it, is a Mexican condiment that comes in paste or liquid form. It’s made from dried fruit (and often hibiscus flowers), dried chilis, and lime. It’s a mix of sweet, savory, spicy, and sour. Chamoy is the local version of sour patch kids or any sour candy – kids in BELIZE love it. But many adults love it, too.

I tried my first taste in THE classic Belize summer drink – the chamoyada (or mangonada) – at a small local stand on Middle Street (so many of you suggested this spot when I asked where to try it!)

Chamoy and Mango
My freshly blended mangonada

It wasn’t until I moved to Belize that I learned that a squeeze of lime makes everything taste better. From ripe, stinky papaya to meat and fish to soups to rum punch to anything salty, lime improves it all. You can see Little Things I Never Knew I Needed Until I Moved To Belize (Lime is DEFINITELY on the list!).

Fruit—both sweet and sour—is almost always served at the local stands and stalls with salt and ground pepper (hot red, not black). Kids and adults love to eat plums (local plums), green and ripe mangoes, and even cucumber and jicama slices covered in the stuff.

Mango season is here – the most wonderful time of the entire year – and I love sour, I like salty, I don’t like spicy…but maybe I’ll love the combination? Let’s try it out.

The one mango tree in town
The one full grown mango tree in town – on Back Street – the owners tell me that it hasn’t given mangos in years

Behind that mango tree is the MOST gorgeous tree on the island – a HUGE orange flamboyant tree all in bloom.

Flamboyant tree
This tree makes me stop and gawk…it’s incredible
Lovely ladies selling mangos on the back street
Lovely ladies selling small sweet hairy mangos on the Back Street
Cut mangos
You can buy them pre-cut at many stands
Mango roses
Or beautiful mango flowers…some with chamoy already on them. Don’t forget your bib!

To the stand. Kathy’s is just north of Green House on the middle of Middle Street. (Jeff and I have been working on a jingle for one of our favorite shops, Greenhouse, since we first met – it’s sung to the tune of “Our House” by Madness. “Green House. On the Middle of Middle Street. Green House. Where the Gringos Get their Treats” Please feel free to email me with additional lyrics. You’d think we’d have more after 9+ years)

The hours are painted right on the front.

Cathy's Shop on Middle Street

I have taken many pictures of the exterior over the past years but I’ve never purchased a shake. This is about to change.

The menu. The most popular orders, I was told, are mango with chamoy and cappucino.

Kathy's Milkshake menu
All you need is love and milkshakes is a GREAT slogan

How cute is this little spot! Fresh chopped mango frozen in a baggy came out with lots of ice.

Cathy's Milkshades

Next chamoy and its primo, tajin. The salty, spicy, tart spice. ta-HEEN. Some folks love it on popcorn, on fruit, on the rim of a beer, on…just about everything.

Chamoy and Tajin
Chamoy and Mango

The finished product was absolutely gorgeous. The ruby red and the bright mango—with the current red hot weather—could not have looked better.

A domed cap was placed over the spire, and a wide straw was added. I took a deep slurp and…BLLEEEECH. My first tip: Stir this thing up, or you will get a thick salt syrup straight off the bottom.

Love at first sip? Definitely not. But I can see the appeal. The mango part is DEEEEElicious and brought my core body temperature down at least 10 degrees. SOOO refreshing. Do I need a weird tart, puckery and salty mix into my sweet mango? No. But I’m glad I tried it.

I can barely stand one dash of Marie Sharp’s on my food…I grew up taking those Fire Ball candies out of my mouth because they got too hot. I gotta ease into this stuff. It’s also easy to imagine this with tequila or mezcal or rum…the Truck Stop does frozen cocktails with chamoy and fruit. I also here that Tacos Las Diosa makes homemade chamoy. THAT I want to try.

As this heat continues and as we have a few more months of mango season, I will most certainly be back for more shakes. Pineapple and mango sound amazing, and I bet oat and peanut are delicious. I’ll be back.

And something I can’t stop thinking about. Our two new kittens, Mango and Cashew, are only 11 weeks old now. Is it too late to change their names to Tajin and Chamoy?

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  1. David Martin on June 2nd, 2024 at 3:29 pm

    Speaking of the kittens – I think it’s time to work on a jingle based on ‘Our House’ by Crosby, Stills & Nash:
    “Our Camp, is a very, very, very fine camp.
    With two cats in the yard,
    Life shouldn’t be so hard.
    Now everything is hard because of you…”

    • San Pedro Scoop on June 2nd, 2024 at 3:48 pm

      It’s taken us 10 years to come up with the other two lines! Adding a whole different tune might take us back to square one! 🙂

  2. Emily S. on June 4th, 2024 at 2:03 pm

    I love your kittens’ names as well as the new possibilities – perhaps for your next two furkids (cats, dogs, whatever!?) Believe it or not, living in Mexico for 2.5 years in total, I never tried Chamoy!? But I love me some Tajin! We buy it here in the states and enjoy it “con frecuencia”. 🙂

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