Monday, June 7, 2010

Celebrate the Mango- Part2

Mango season is in full swing and I wanted to update my mango post from last year adding more varieties available on Saipan. The "local" or Saipan mangoes started out plenty and early this season but they were not very sweet. It is only in the last 2 months that trees started producing sweeter batches. Good thing too because as you see in the picture above, they are quite appetizing! Green, yellow, red- all ripe and all from the same tree. Carabao mangoes this year are not as productive but taste just as good as last year.
You can drive down Tanapag and San Roque Village now and buy a sample of Saipan's reputedly best "local" mangoes. They usually sell mangoes on the roadside so keep a look out for them. I had some last year for about $6 a basket and they were quite plump and delicious.

Carabao-Local Hybrid
This is a small variety that has a sweet, almost butter-like scent. Some people don't like carabao mangoes because they have a bit of a turpentine taste but this hybrid doesn't smell as strong and has a good balance of sugary sweet and mild tartness that you find in the local mangoes.
It is difficult for the natural taxonomist in me not to know the names of some mango varieties that I've encountered. I do not think that there is anything formalized in branding or naming our mangoes and a lot of people are really just confused with what is what which makes me even more confused. I'll just have to sit down with our expert people in Forestry or Land & Natural Resources to figure these out one day.

"Small Golden"
I tried these smallish golden mangoes from a friend last year. They were quite aromatic with very little fibers. As I said earlier, these do not have an official name and she just called them Small Golden. I haven't seen these turn up this season but I remember these to be really really good.

"Beaked- Haden Type"
Here is another variety that people called Haden but the beak is uncharacteristic of the breed. I remember that the flesh didn't hold a lot of moisture and reminded me of eating toa (half ripe) mangoes.
This is a good size mango & sweet but just not very juicy."Giant Hawaiian Mango"
I do not have a lot of information on this huge type. I got it at the local vegetable/fruit stand and the guy who sold it to me called it Giant Hawaiian. This was the only sample he had and I haven't seen one similar again. It was not very sweet but the flesh was firm and juicy.

"Green Pico"
Someone brought these by the office calling it a Pico type because of the shape. It was totally ripe even thought it was this dark green color. I remember it tasting like a Pico, sugary sweet with just a hint of tartness.

"Saipan Dikike"
I loved these tiny mangoes! They are obviously "local" or Saipan mangoes but tiny like plums. They were a good mixture of sweet and tart you usually find in the bigger varieties. The people at Asin's Store called it dikike or small in Chamorro so that's what I'm calling it. I need to find more of these since they were really tasty and easy to eat!

I should have bought the lot of them. They were really juicy and the flesh were firm.
I hope I get to find and sample some more varieties. After a long dry spell caused by the El Niño, it is starting to rain again. That means that the rainy season will soon be here and mango season will soon come to a close. We will then have to rely on the preserved kinds or the ones they ship in. Lets go out there and get some more before they are gone!

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber


Drea said...

I love mango! :) I never noticed how many different kinds there are.

pretzels...yum! said...

Aw, I love/miss mangos & I love/miss you.

Sean said...

Not fair!

I mean I could handle the sunset photos. After all the sun does set beautifully even here in America.

But the mangos? Not fair!

Mai said...

Oh my goodness!!!! Mangos!!!! My mouth is absolutely watering! But I don't really remember having that many mangos when I was there..... perhaps I wasn't shopping in the right places.

The Beachcomber said...

Drea- As they say on Saipan, "Plenty kinds here!" I remember picking mangoes after storms at the high walled house in Tumon next to BOG. Yum!

Jes- Miss & <3 you, sis! Saw the pics with Mai... Lookin' good!

Sean- I will trade you mangoes for some persimmons right about now!

Mai- I actually make it a point to look practically everywhere and ask everyone what kinds they have. I have a few more kinds to write about but I am so bothered by not being able to name them properly that I hold back. I really should just enjoy them and not be such a stickler for details!

Saipan Writer said...

This year I've been seeing two "new" varieties around Saipan. One is referred to as "Panama" mango--it's very large, long and skinny--shape and color like carabou mango without the musky taste. The other is being called "malaysian" mango--it looks like the ordinary Saipan mango, but a bit larger and has the musky taste of carabao.

All good.

Deece said...

I love your mango posts. I'm sad that mango season is coming to an end. I hope that next season will have sweet mangoes from the get go.

Sean said...

Persimmons-shmimons. Mangoes rule.

Deece said...

What is a pico?

The Beachcomber said...

SW- Hope you are feeling better. I gotta find some of that "Malaysian" mango and my 1st post has a little description of the Panama. I love the sweetness and size of the Panama although I always need to floss out the fibers later!

Deece- I was driving around seeing less and less fruits on the trees :( I've got a description of the Pico/Piko mango in my 1st mango post. It is supposed to be smaller and less tastier (therefore cheaper) than the Carabao mangoes in the Philippines. Other identifying marks are a beak at the terminal end and a supposed red, hard butones (button) or peklat(scar) that develops when ripe.

Sean- Heehee!ATL's got this huge farmers market that sells fruits from all over. I wonder if you guys have anything like that where you can sample some different varieties.

Deece said...

My mom just brought home these small mangoes from her friend's tree. To me, they look just like the local mango, but a tiny bit smaller. But not as small as the Saipan dikike. They were soooo good! I want to make jam and cream pies with them.

Umby Lee said...

Hi! I've never heard of carabao mangoes having even a hint of turpentine. That means your carabao mangoes are the real thing, and the ones that others have tasted as having some turpentine flavor could be something else. You know how people could plant from seed, and end up not getting exactly the same tree

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