Mango Madness in Cayman
Mangoes are easily one of the most beloved fruits found in the Caribbean. Not only by locals, but by visitors who are keen to have some tropical fruit as part of their island experience. In Cayman, the coconut is one of the most versatile fruits because it can be used for savoury stews to sweet cakes. The mango, that many people seek, tends to be a raw, ripened fruit that is sweet, while there are others (like me!) who also enjoy them green and unripened with a vinegary sauce. If you prefer the ripe mango, you’ll quickly realise that there are too many varieties on island to count and they range from a fibrous to smooth pulp to those with a juicy to firmer texture. Across the Caribbean there are over 100 varieties, but some of the favourites in the Cayman Islands include the Carey, Nam Doc, Julie, East Indian and Bombay.
Let’s move away from the raw deliciousness of the mango and discuss some of my favourite ways and places to enjoy this delicacy in the Cayman Islands.
- Some of the best Mango Jam & Mango Juice/ Smoothies you can find on island come from Willie’s Farm as they are widely known as the mango connoisseurs in Grand Cayman. You can find their jams and juices at the Hamlin Stephenson Farmer’s Market or at their food stalls on Crewe Road (adjacent to the Lion’s Centre) and across from the entrance to Frank Sound in North Side.
- If you like your jelly with a little kick, then you should locate Laurel’s Mango Pepper Jelly. You can contact her via email (email@example.com) or via Instagram. I also tend to get my pepper jelly fix when I visit GOODNESS as they sell her products in George Town.
- Something you don’t see often is mango with some heat, but Tomfoodery Kitchen has taken mango, mustard & scotch bonnet peppers to create their Mango FIYAH hot sauce. You can find this particular hot sauce at all the supermarkets (Hurley’s Marketplace, Kirk Market, Fosters), Tortuga stores (including the airport), the Westin Resort and GOODNESS.
- Get a sweet treat from Gelato & Co. where they create their vegan Mango Sorbet using local mangoes. Visit their locations in George Town or Camana Bay to satisfy those cravings.
Restaurants That Love Local Mango
- The Brasserie in Cricket Square is known for incorporating locally grown and sourced ingredients, and mangoes are another product that makes it onto their menu. Order their famous Truffle Grilled Cheese which comes with a seasonal jam where currently it’s mango-based.
- Cracked Conch features mango in creative ways on their menu (here’s looking at you oyster-mango velouté!), but what makes them even more memorable is their annual Mango Dinner. Traditionally hosted in July, this multi-coursed meal with wine pairings and canapés celebrates our favourite fruit in both sweet and savoury ways. Be on the lookout for the event this summer.
- Casa 43 Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar serve local mango in a few of their dishes, including their Caribbean Shrimp Ceviche and on one of their three Guacamoles where they top it with grilled mango. Don’t miss out on their frozen Mango Margarita that’s made with a homemade mango purée.
Already you can see that Cayman’s mango trees are ready to explode and it’s just April, so once May arrives we will find this delicacy available at the supermarkets, farmer’s market, restaurants and bars! The season lasts a few months so take advantage of it while it lasts.