by Sarah Rapp
Resident, North Captiva Island
Did you know that besides Florida, no other states report the production of mangoes? Consequently, Florida is the main United States producer of this fruit. Mango Mania is a festival held at the German American Social Club (2101 S.W. Pine Island Road, Cape Coral during the month of July).
Festival-goers can taste and buy their fill of just-picked mangoes of assorted varieties, many of which are not available in supermarkets. Additionally, they can learn how to grow their own and buy a tree. There’s music, dancing and even some non-mango comestibles for anyone who simply can’t live on mangoes alone.
If you don’t have time to go to the festival, order mangoes from the market, or stop at one of the local fruit stands on the way to the marina. The fruits vary in shape (kidney, round, oblong, oval) and weight ranges from a few ounces to five pounds. Although the fruit will ripen on the tree, it is usually picked green and will ripen quickly. The fruit is just delicious…so why not celebrate your own mango mania while visiting North Captiva!
Fresh mango salsa is easy to make and perfect with halibut or salmon or as the salsa in fish tacos.
- 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeño chile, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste. Also good with diced red bell pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado.