To see just what Cayman has to offer mango-wise, I head down to Mr Melburn Watler's farm in Newlands along with The Brasserie’s Executive Chef Brad, a frequent visitor to this farm of mango plenty. Mr Watler has been tending his fruit-filled acres ever since he can remember, and what a bounty we find. Heavily laden tree after tree fills his farm, with every kind of mango you could imagine, in every hue of lime green, plum purple, bright red, burnished orange and sunshine yellow.
As we walk and talk, Mr Watler offers us sliver after sliver of juicy mango flesh, so we can make our own comparisons. For me, I loved the hybrid East Indian and Haden, a huge variety most likely unique to Mr Watler’s farm, which smacked you in the mouth with flavour the minute you took a juicy bite. The East Indian variety offers everything a good mango should - true mango flavour, buckets of juice and not too much string, while the Nam Doc is slightly more refined, less dense and with an almost scented flavour of the Orient.
In the end Mr Watler presents me with a bag of mixed varieties to gorge on in the privacy of my own home. My feet are covered in mud (we visit the first day of the summer rains), my shirt stained bright orange with mango juice. I am very jolly indeed.
Read about the magic Chef Brad wields over the mangos in his kitchen in my next blog.