A birthday gift from me to you – mango time!

wpid-img_20150522_2110212.jpg.jpegAmong all the things I could want for my birthday today, some Jama-education for my foreign friends would be good. So I thought I’d share some mango time facts. A bit late, since the season has just about run its course but, better late than never! By the way, mango is the new chocolate whenever it’s in season and Jamaican mangoes are the best!

Mi nuh drink coffee tea, mango time
Nuh care how nice it may be, mango time
At the height of the mango crop
When di fruit dem a ripe an drop
Wash yu pot, tun dem dung, mango time!
[a Jamaican folk song]

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Just waiting for these to ripen! Nomnomnom

Mango time equals sticky fingers with bright yellow juices, stained clothes, and a bit of extra padding because, well, we eat them at almost every meal time :-).

   We have several different varieties. I’ve tasted:

Blackie — typically green skinned and very small, some black spots, a little tangy especially when you get down to the seed.

Julie —  large, multi-colored (yellow, red & green), sweet and creamy.

Hairy — typically small yellow-skinned, fairly sweet but the flesh of the mango is very ‘hairy,’ the fibres detach quite easily from the seed and get stuck in your teeth a lot.

East Indian — just as big as the Julie (often with more yellow than red, in my opinion!), hairy and very very juicy.

Still need to work these: Number 11, Bombay, Sweetie come brush mi etc. Here’s a good site to check out some mango facts.

Yes, I’ve tried mangoes while in the US. They don’t compare. Nothing compares to sun-ripened fruit, and Jamaican mangoes are one of the best examples. Almost every other backyard has a mango tree, and during mango season, we climb the trees, make picking poles (yes that’s the fancy name I just made up, we just call them sticks) from a long branch and wire wrapped like a hook around the end, and milk those trees to how di mango dem good!

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Mango blossoms – wishes for a good day 🙂

I’ve also recently learned how to make mango butter (for hair and skin products) from the mango seed, so I’ll be trying that with the next mango I eat to see how that goes!

Till next time, I’ll be enjoying the last of the mangoes, and you,

Walk good.

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Jamaican Foodlosophy?

boswell-s-jamaican-foodYou might wonder what in the world I mean by foodlosophy? And why would it matter that the foodlosophy (whatever that means) be Jamaican?

I was introduced to the term foodlosophy a few months ago at a food systems panel during my college’s Homecoming weekend. All the panelists were asked to share their ‘foodlosophy,’ i.e. what they believed food should be.

Here, I’ll use that definition of the term, as well as one I’ve coined myself – food + philosophy. Food, because my impetus for starting this blog was to share food tidbits, and philosophy, because  sometimes we just need a moment to ponder life, to think about the what, why and how of what we do.

As for the Jamaican aspect of things, before I am many things, I am Jamaican. However, living in the US for the past four years hasn’t allowed me access to many things Jamaican. I’ve learned so many things about the US food system, yet I don’t know much about my own. Moreover, I have to consider the impact that the US food system is having on the Jamaican food system, how the culture here impacts the culture of my home. As such, I’ll endeavor to share Jamaican culture, Jamaican food and my thoughts on the intersections both food systems and cultures as much as I can.

So, what’s Jamaica’s foodlosophy?

Anything we eat must be finger-licking good, to the point where you want to lick the plate 🙂 AND it has to be filling. Well seasoned, flavorful meals with starches, protein (usually meat or beans) and veggies are our thing 🙂 .