Celebrating the mango at Fairchild

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talking about mangos in the Garden House at the 20th annual mango fest.

There is only one International Mango Festival in the world. And the 20th annual festival at Fairchild proved once more that this fruit is prized above all others in the tropical world.

An hour after the festival opened, the line for the tasting room stretched around the back of the Corbin building to the allee. Inside, Mallika from India and Nam Doc Mai from Thailand were running neck and neck as taste treats.

Rating the tastiest mangos.

In the Garden House, hundreds of fruits drew admirers as if they were Queen Elizabeth’s jewels. Colorful mangos from Africa, South America, India, Malaysia, Israel and Florida begged to be touched, smelled and handled for heft. The wild mangos, tiny and full of genetic promise, were as thrilling to see as the demure Jean Ellen, the red Neldika from Africa and the big fat Keitts.

There were cooking demonstrations, mango talks, and 17 varieties of mango trees for sale, as well as the mango marketplace, food vendors (the mango pie in the Garden House is to die for), food trucks and even mango festival sunglasses for sale. What’s better on a hot day in July than a succulent, delicious mango?

Mango trees awaiting new homes.