The dual-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago is known for its superb cuisine and spectacular street food, but on July 4 and 7, the nation of foodies will pay homage to the king of tropical fruit.
Sweet, juicy and versatile, delicious mangoes of every size and type will be the focus of Trinidad and Tobago’s fourth annual Mango Festival which will be held on July 7.
Featuring a mango market, mango products, grafting demonstrations, exhibitions, children’s activities, games, mango-eating competitions, and other entertainment, Trinidad and Tobago’s Mango Festival offers mangophiles every imaginable mango-made delight, from soaps and preserves to candles and gift paper.
A highlight of the festival is the mango market where a variety of the locally-grown fruit, including the sinfully sweet Julie, considered the queen of mangoes, which was developed in Trinidad, and other varieties with whimsical names such as Rose, Hog, Calabash, Douxdoux, La Brea Gyul, Turpentine, and Graham – a seedling of the Julie mango – can be purchased.
Preceding the festival will be the island’s second Mango Conference on July 4, which is also being hosted under the auspices of the Network of Rural Women Producers (NRWP) of Trinidad and Tobago.
Highlighting the contribution of rural communities and agri-entrepreneurs to national economic development, Trinidad and Tobago’s Mango Festival also promotes economic opportunities through the sustainable use of the mango, and educates participants on the many benefits of the much-loved fruit.
Known as the “king of fruit” throughout the world, mangoes were brought to the West Indies by Portuguese traders. In some cultures, the mango tree is a symbol of love, and the fruit is known to be bursting with flavor as well as protective nutrients including vitamin C and beta carotene.
In Trinidad and Tobago, mango trees are planted as part of re-forestation programs due to their extensive root systems that hold the soil and prevent erosion. The fruits are also a good source of food for birds and other animals.
The fourth annual Trinidad and Tobago Mango Festival will be held on Sunday, July 7, 2013, at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Field Station, Mount Hope, Trinidad.