Mango, Mango, Mango, Mango, Mangooooo
Yesterday, my brother and SIL took us all to the Mango Festival hosted by the University of the West Indies Agriculture Field Office. I didn't have any expectations one way or another, so I was happy with the experience.
My niece was fighting off a cold and could hardly speak, so after we parked up I offered her a piggy-back. At 5, she's a heavy little thing and it's hot. But it meant she wasn't getting pushed past, or walk.
There were stalls promoting mango products: cosmetics, foods, preserves & chutneys and stationery. There wasn't very much to see in all honesty. There was also a stall promoting the benefits of wheatgrass which I avoided like an STD. As I've got older, my disbelief in 'wonder' ingredients and alternative treatments like wheatgrass, coconut oil, green tea has fallen disproportionately. Anything that promotes 'natural' products gets more than a sceptical look.
Natural is not better than man-made people. It's not automatically more healthy. Honestly, it isn't. Consider products with 'natural herbs' for instance. They particularly annoy me. Belladonna and foxglove are very natural and are very, very dangerous. Should your organic back be getting up at this point. I'm not of a mind to get into a massive debate about the massive issue. All I'm saying is that in all cases Buyer Beware. I do believe we should be using cleaning products that do the job and are gentle on mother Earth. I do believe we should scrub vegetables and fruit before consuming. Responsible consumerism should be practised at all times and a label stating 'natural' should be carefully examined and the efficacy of the product should be scrutinised.
Mangos are my favouritest fruit ever. Especially, when my brother has picked it off his tree in the backyard. I love that if you have a bowl of mangos in the kitchen, the smell permeates. Buying mangos in the UK has ultimately been an expensive and depressing experience. In the main they just don't smell and taste as fantastic as the homegrown.
My brother's garden is beautiful and edible. He has mango trees, lime trees, a kumquat, five-fingers (which I detest), avocado trees, passion fruit vines; there are a variety of herbs, ginger lillies and chilli peppers, as well as vines for leafy salads. Tasty and beautiful. In The Bush, he also grows aubergines, several varieties of bananas, mangos, oranges, lemons, grapefruits...the list goes on. He used to grow watermelons, but that apparently, was a bit of a disaster.
As for the local cuisine. I am working hard not to return to the UK in September with an arse the size of Brazil, but they are not making it easy for me. My brother's MIL is in charge of cooking and I have yet to try something she prepared and for me to go 'bleugh'. That woman can cook!
Om nom nom.