By Kerry Mc Donald. Mango vert, mango teen… I am sure you are aware of this folk song. I have a weakness for mangoes, but not just any type of mango. Give me a bucket of Julie mangoes and it’s as though I won the lottery.
Bowl of eight to ten Julie mangoes
I remember when I arrived home from school and there was nothing to eat.
Mangoes were in season, so with a big grin on my face, I would hurry to the back of my home and suck a bowl of mangoes. This bowl of mangoes were equivalent to about eight to ten Julie mangoes. By the time I was finished, I did not want dinner.
One tree was situated on the side of my home and the other tree to the back.
I did not want the popular Christmas time fruits; pears, apples or grapes. Why purchase these fruits, when Julie mangoes were free.
Paulover a sunny yellow mango
There are other types of mangoes; long-mango, ten-pound mango, starch mangoes, and the list goes on and on, but there is something about Julie mangoes that I delight.
Apart from Julie mango, there was a bright and sunny yellow mango, Paulover from St Vincent. I vividly remembered when my stepfather had a big tree laden with Paulover mangoes; however the tree is not in existence today.
When I asked my friends and relatives about the mango, I received a puzzled expression, I also searched the highs and lows of Trinidad for this mango, but my attempts were futile.
A favourite in St Vincent
The day Tiffanie, a new employee joined my workplace and I heard her speak for the first time, I detected her twang, she was from St Vincent. At last, here was this “Vincy gyul” to my rescue.
I waited for her to settle in at work for at least two weeks before I asked her about Paulover mangoes.
Me: “Tiff Tiff do you know of a mango called Paulover? My stepfather had this tree in his yard but the tree was destroyed several years ago.”
Tiffanie: “Yeah gyul I know about this mango. It’s a favourite in St Vincent.”
Me: “Tiff Tiff when you going St Vincent please bring some of these mangoes for me please.”
Tiffanie: “Sure thing Kerry gyul, but the officials in the airport will not allow me to bring the mangoes in Trinidad – it’s a perishable item.”
Me: “Hmm girl, it’s mango season, no Paulover, what I go do? Well, I have an idea Tiffanie, if you can’t bring Paulover mangoes, bring the seeds for me to plant them.”
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Sticking to my favourite Julie mangoes
This is how desperate I became and no Paulover mangoes meant sticking to my favourite – Julie mangoes. Since the two trees were no longer in my yard, I decided to beat the streets of Chaguanas on the lookout for a steal of a deal – the best price I received was one heap for $30.
The smell of the mangoes brought me back to my childhood days. Five ripe and sweet mangoes packaged in a crisp brown bag was a match made in heaven.
With Paulover mangoes being second on the list, I await the day Tiffanie will bring good news of successfully supplying me with a few of this tasty fruit.
Nevertheless, I will enjoy the Julie mangoes I purchased. With the mangoes held tightly in my hands, I took a taxi and made my way home. Five Julie mangoes and a glass of water, I know I will definitely not require dinner after sucking my preferred mangoes.
October 2015 – Issue 18 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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