Red Mango is popular snack in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Yuh want ah mango? Dance de shango……” As a child growing up in a more rural part of Trinidad, school days were really happy days. The opening sentence was part of a few nonsense call and answer rhymes we used while playing … some of them I can’t reproduce here for more reasons than one, for instance the rhyme for Tambran (tamarind) ….. ” Yuh want Tambran? …baby…..hahaha lol!! Those of you who know it will surely laugh at that one.
School Days are Happy Days
As I was explaining school days were happy days…. Back then there wasn’t much distractions and life was simple. We played ketch (catch); cricket, football (soccer), marble games (like three hole), rings, X and Dab ; and those of us who weren’t playing in the hot Caribbean sun would be raiding the fruit trees that were on the school’s compound, especially the large mango tree.
Our Love for Mango and Red Mango
It was war I tell you! That mango tree didn’t stand a chance. We pelted that poor mango tree with almost anything we could get our hands on: stones, pieces of branches, and even mango seeds. But it was all fun! There were very few injuries to talk about and everyone was happy to get a few mangoes.
During recess or lunch time we had a myriad of natural snacks to choose from, there were tambran (tamarind) ball, chili bibi, tooloom, paw paw ball, pennacool, pholourie, and of course the topic of today’s recipe, red mango. There were three types: soaked red mango, chinee mango, and sweet red mango.
The soaked red mango was made by soaking the pieces of mango in water that had red food colouring, salt, pepper, other seasonings, and preserving powder. The process took about a month for the colouring to completely penetrate the whole mango. The chinee mango was dry with a semi sweet taste that the chinese made or perhaps imported. Maybe it came from that famous Chinese shop on Charlotte Street we all go to to get our chinese preserved fruit
Then of course we have the sweet red mango. This was the fastest to prepare of the three and it was packed with deliciousness from the skin right down to the seed. I’m sure it sold faster than the rest. It was almost addictive… Children chewed the seed until it was white. They even chewed the paper the sauce was on to get that last drop of sweet red mango sauce. Talk about flavour! The mango boiled with sugar, spice and a bit of pepper really hit the spot each and every time
So, today based on a fan request from my facebook fanpage I have for you sweet red mango: a little piece of mouthwatering bliss from my childhood….. Don’t worry, you can chew on the seed ’til it is white; you have my permission. Enjoy
Red Mango Recipe
6 green long mango
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. red food colouring (liquid)
1 piece of spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 cups water
Well that’s it for another wonderful week of posts. As usual more recipes to come.
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