FOOD FRIDAY 11: MANGOES MANGOES EVERYWHERE!

Maybe the only redeeming factor to hot season in Senegal is that it is also mango season.  And hot season is really HOT.  These days the highs in my city of Tambacounda have hovered around 100F.  The nights hardly get below 80F.  So really I just melt and drip all day.

But – I get to eat lots and lots of mangoes!  A cold mango straight out of the fridge is the best remedy I’ve found for a blazing hot afternoon.  However the ever-present flies love mangoes just as much as I do so I’ve taken to eating this wonderfruit under my mosquito net.

The season is still beginning, but already there are mangoes everywhere.  Women set up fruit stands along the main roads and on small neighborhood street corners.  The fruit changes with the season so now it’s all mangoes.  Big mangoes, little mangoes, green mangoes, yellow mangoes!

I like to buy the big, grafted mangoes – there is so much ‘meat’, if you will, and it’s smooth and not stringy.  They are a little pricier, but so worth it.  Currently I’m buying 2 kilos at a time, about 5-6 mangoes, for 1000 cfa.  That’s a little under $2.

mango stand

This is my favorite mango stand and seller so far!  She sells on the main road about a 10/15 minute walk from my house.  She and her fruit-selling neighbors are wonderful people who always throw in a little something extra, like a bonus mango or a couple of bananas.

mango bag

My purchase this afternoon.  These look extra green in the picture, I think from the blue-green bag.

mango big

They’re monsters!  These are even kinda small for the grafted mangoes I usually buy.

mango plate 2

nomnomnom!!

mango tree

Young, green mangoes on a tree in Thies.  One thing I’ve learned about mango trees is that it’s important to prune them because the more new growth you have the more mangoes you’ll get.  Mangoes fruit on the new branches so if you have old trees with little new growth your mango harvest will be small, and sad.

mango baby

A really baby mango!  Mangoes come to maturity about 3-5 months after flowering.

mango grafting

Here garden nursery guys are grafting mango trees.  Grafting is done to produce bigger and better fruit.

So, in summary: hot season is kinda the worst BUT mangoes make it all better!

Until next time,

~Sophia

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