Feb 4, 2008

Mango Days

Dey Say
When I was a boy growing up in Trinidad I loved eating mangos. Arima where I grew up (was born in South), had a variety of mangoes that I loved. In my yard we have three Julie mango trees and one special mango that my father grafted. He took a turpentine mango and Julie mango and grafted both – a very unusual mango with a very unique taste came from that – I crave the taste of it. On the boundary with the neighbors we had one mango lone (the good type) and the other was stringy that stuck in your teeth (a little sour also). These mangos are like the Haitian Totot mangos. We also had one we called mango teen (I never liked the taste of that mango). To the back of the yard on another neighbors lot were different types of mango rose and one we called Hog mango (a type mango rose) but it was a little different.
Another neighbor two lots over had what we called mango John (white inside) – very nice tasting mango. One that I loved pelting down was mango splash. Mango Splash had the thinnest seed that I have ever seen in a mango but that mango sweet for so. Now close to the Eastern Main Road and opposite the Public Cemetery is the Baca Jhonnie Sawmill (local whites). In that saw mill had three types of mangoes. One was the Belly full (that is the biggest mango ah ever see in meh life). The other was strange and I can’t recall the name. However, there was one that had the shape of the mango long but when ripe it became red. That mango tree was on the bank of a ravine that passed alongside the saw mill and near what we called ‘gravel park’ (where we played soccer close to Reid Lane) and down to the train tracks into Samaroo Village. That mango is a very special mango because if you are not careful when peeling it the milk from the skin of the mango gave it that peculiar name of ‘mango scratch mouth’. If you picked it from the tree and peeled it the way most people do back home (with yuh mouth) and the milk touches your skin it becomes an itchy episode. We used to pick it and put it to get ‘stale’ before eating it. But boys will be boys and we always had to take ah chance and pay the price for it.
Mango Dou douce and mango starch – yummy yummy! These mangos had small seeds especially mango Dou douce, sometimes yuh could put two in yuh mouth at the same time. Starch mango is really nice – meh mother in law has a tree in their yard on Pro Queen Street in Arima. Now mango is boss and so expensive that thieves walking in yuh yard and taking it – and yuh better keep quiet about it yes boi.
Mango Calabash was also a nice one but I liked it half ripe, I never liked it when it was fully ripe. The one thing I hated (and I just have a feeling that Trinimango used to do this) was to soften the mango until inside was mushy then pierce a hole and suck the mango juice out – I hated even seeing it done.
Those were the Good Ole Days my friends and talking about the good ole days that is a topic that we will talk about in time. How about bringing back the ole time days? The late Nappy Myers sang a beautiful song bearing that name. Levi Myaz (Myers) did a wonderful remake of his father’s classic; I highly recommend this masterpiece – get it, listen and reflect.






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