Thousands of people braved the humidity and sunburn to celebrate all things mango at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's annual International Mango Festival this weekend.
The festival attracts both locals and visitors obsessed with the fleshy tart/sweet fruit, who came to devour everything from mango bread to mango wine and immerse themselves in mango-scented soaps and mango candles.
If purity is your thing, actual mangoes were on sale, as well. From sliced green Colombian mangoes that resembled a cross between jicama and a green apple to rare and exotic varieties on the auction block, people clamored for their favorite Kent and Alphonso mangoes to eat at the festival or take home.
Visitors in the know visited the mango marketplace where, for two bucks, thousands of mangoes were available, each one hand-marked with their variety. And, of course, there was the popular tree nursery where you could pick out your very own baby mango tree -- although you'll have to wait a few years for your baby to bear fruit.
At the mango tasting room, visitors could sample nearly a dozen rare mangoes, including the Alphonso, said to be the pinnacle of mango good taste.
Not all mangoes are soft and sweet. In Colombia, crunchy mangoes are eaten for their tartness. A squirt of lime juice and a dollop of hot sauce punch up the flavors.
Who says you can't get a buzz from a mango? Schnebly's Redland's Winery hosted wine tastings featuring their famous fruit-based wines.
Rare fruits were put on the auction block, where a tray of mangoes could go for a few hundred dollars.
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Remember that scene of Bubba Gump? Well...there's mango jam; mango jelly; mango salsa; mango cake; mangoade; mango smoothies; mango tea; mango cake; mango ice cream; mango cookies...
Planning for the future. Baby mango trees were available for sale -- so you can "grow your own." Mangoes, that is.