Mango trees might just be the most historic plants in South Florida. Long before there was Publix or Fresh Market, Floridians were enjoying fresh mangoes in the summer simply by stepping into their yard and plucking a sweet fruit from their tree. Mangoes have come a long way since then, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (19091 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) is celebrating the fruit with the garden’s 20th annual International Mango Festival this Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The weekend is a mango lover’s dream. You can learn about the mango (at lectures) and cook with mangoes (at demonstrations), but what we like best is eating mangoes. A mango-tasting room will allow you to try flavors from around the world. Ever taste a Thai mango? They’re crisp and refreshing — like apples. How about an Egyptian, which is so juicy you can squeeze one into a glass and drink it? More than 100 varieties of mango will be on display, and fruit from India and Puerto Rico will be available for purchase. Local restaurants will offer samplings of mango-inspired dishes, and Fairchild will sell refreshing mango smoothies, hold a mango auction, and provide fun kids’ activities for the entire family to enjoy. Inspired to grow your own mango tree? More than 1,200 trees will be available for sale, including dwarf trees, perfect for growing on condo patios.
Sat., July 14, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 2012