Mango-picking in South Florida isn't Like You Think
See those fruits? In case you grew up in a blighted Yankee hellhole (spits) and don't know what those are, those are mangoes.
They are one of the most incredible and delicious fruits on the planet. If you live in an aforementioned Yankee state and have bought them in a grocery store, you don't know what they taste like. They're terrible from the grocery. Sweet-sour with a turpentine undertone.
Those are not the mangoes we have in Florida. The mangoes in Florida, or more specifically SOUTH Florida, are rich, sweet, tropical, bursting with flavor and absolutely addicting.
A Master Gardener in North Florida once told me that they loved the oak woods in North Florida and really thought South Florida was sad because they didn't have towering oaks.
I responded, "Oaks? In South Florida, the MANGO TREES are the size of oaks!"
Those are 50-60' mango trees. They are absolutely incredible.
These particular trees are growing at my in-laws' house. Long ago, a man planted a small orchard of mango trees in his yard... then sold the house to my mother-and-father-in-law, and the trees just kept on growing... and growing... and growing.
Picking the fruit takes some serious work. Here's my father-in-law taking a few down:
That's a massive telescoping pole used to change fuses on transformers. It's a serious fiberglass tool with a hook on the end. A mango hook!
The trick is to catch the falling fruits... or eat them quickly if they smash into the ground.
I admit: I did badly at catching the fruits the day I took these pictures. The tropical sun was high in the sky and as they fell they bounced all around the branches unpredictably. I was also a little concerned about getting brained.
But, in the end, we gathered a couple of lovely buckets of mangoes, God's gift to Floridians.
Though mangoes can't take the winters where I live, I do get to visit the trees down south now and again. I'll take that... especially when I get to eat their fruit.
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