With a dismal first crop this year, it seemed there was not a lot to celebrate at the Mango Season at the Museum event on Saturday, July 14.
But a passel of vendors were undeterred and offered up not only the whole fruit, but a slew of mango-flavored products including cookies, barbecue sauce, bread, jam, sherbet and fresh juice in a cluster of booths set up around the National Museum on the George Town waterfront.
Viv Monahan, 51, said this was his first time to visit the mini-festival, which included a bounce house, catboat rides and a mango-peeling competition.
“It’s very worthwhile to have the festival,” Mr. Monahan said. “It brings everybody together.”
It also gave him the opportunity to be introduced to duhat jam. He was mulling over the flavor after tasting a sample at Shirl Clarke’s booth.
“I was saying to Shirl, I haven’t come across the duhat jam before,” he said, likening the flavor to a currant or blackberry jam before turning back to Ms. Clarke. “Can I have another little taste of that?”
Ms. Clarke had a large basket of fresh mangoes as well as a variety of jams and sauces, not all of which were mango centric. She did, however, make mango-pineapple jam and mango upside down cake specially for the event. She said she was hopeful that the second crop of mangoes, just coming in, would be better than the first crop, which many have said was the worst in years. But she was sanguine about the situation.
“We just have to make use of what we can get,” she said. “I learn to adjust myself to nature and give thanks. If I get two, I’m happy.”
Sharon Marcuson, with Willie and Zelmalee Ebanks’ farm, was more openly optimistic.
“The second wave seems to be very much better,” Ms. Marcuson said of this year’s crop.
The table at her stand held a selection of the 70-plus varieties the farm produces, each labeled with a marker to identify it. There was also mango tarts, mango chutney, and mango barbecue sauce. The latter was a product that came out of last year’s bumper crop.
Shayhnie Langlois, 26, is Zelmalee’s granddaughter.
“Last year was a really good mango season and we were just trying to make everything we could,” Ms. Langlois said, holding a bottle of the barbecue sauce. “We were experimenting with everything and I made this.”
She said she feels she’s following in the footsteps of her grandmother, who is known for her culinary skills, especially when it comes to mangos.
“When I think of my grandmother, I think of mangos,” she said. “It’s rooted in our family. Mango is our family.”
Alistair Cowper, 47, was perusing the products at Carol Braggs’ stand where Ms. Braggs found herself pouring a seemingly unending number of cups of mango juice. Mr. Cowper said he just looks forward to the time when the mangoes come off the trees.
“There’s a lot of different ones,” he said. “I’m always surprised at the variety.”
Most, he said, are sweet enough to have for dessert.
“Whenever I see them,” he said, “I try to buy them as much as I can.”