Antigua and Barbuda Page 4


“I gorge on mangoes
Sucking the seed so dry
The orange turns white
Not satisfied until
All the juice is gone
And the seed is a dry shriveled up thing
And then I reach for another one
Eating fast, but going slow
Is there any other way to eat a mango?
And none of this knife and niceties
Mangos are free like summer
They must be eaten decadently
Held in the bare hands
Teeth tearing at the flesh
The juice bursting onto the tongue
And flowing
The mango must be savoured
It must be ravaged hungrily
It must be appreciated like the
Champion of fruits that it is”
– excerpt from my poem Mango Season, published in The Caribbean Writer Volume 26 (USVI)

To say that the mango is my favourite fruit is an understatement. To say that the mango, my favourite fruit, shows up in Oh Gad! a few times would be a bit of an understatement. Here are some excerpts from the book:

“Soon enough they were in their hotel room – second floor, beachside, along Antigua’s northwest coast, complete with fruit basket –mangoes, oranges, bananas.” (Page 6)

“If she squinted, she could even make out the market just beyond that: vendors hawking everything from freshly gutted raw fish to Antigua Black pineapple, to the purple antroba or egg plant, to the pale-green christophene, to pumpkins cut to expose their rich fullorange centre, to fat mangoes, the colour of sunset.” (Page 26)

“People mingled, sampling mango-stuffed tarts fresh from the oven, the house special – Moonlight Samba – and lots of pretty-looking dainty concoctions Nikki couldn’t name and was too busy to taste.” (Page 192)

“Spinach rice, steamed vegetables, fried fish stuffed with green mango. Hibiscus Drink.” (Page 200)

“Sweet like mango or sweet like pineapple?” he asked. (Page 344)

“A tattoo on me and a tattoo on you is like, what, mangoes and bananas.” (Paghe 351)

If you come to Antigua in the summer, you’ll find mangoes-fuh-days (translation: a lot of mangoes). You might find them out of season (they’ve come in early this year, for instance) but they tend to bloom in the summer. Fitting, don’t you think? Summer is also the season of Mango Fest. What’s Mango Fest…a mango-palooza which includes a cooking and bartending competition and lots of good mango fun.

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