By Erica Greenfield
Ah, mangos—the sweet reward for braving the brutal South Florida summers. The colorful, tropical fruit is good in so many ways: it fights cancer, aids in weight loss, helps digestion and cleans the skin. Not to mention it is also refreshing and delicious! Luckily for mango enthusiasts, the claimed “king of fruit” will be returning to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for the 23rd Annual International Mango Festival on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The fun-filled weekend will feature a variety of mango trees for sale, a fruit market, cooking demonstrations, mango beer sampling, artisan vendors and amazing food.
The first mangos were cultivated in India over 2,000 years ago. Since that time they have grown to be cultivated throughout the tropics. The theme of this year’s festival celebrates the mangos of Jamaica. Jamaica boats some of the best mango varieties, and this year’s event will feature 13 Curators’ Choice varieties of mango trees originating in Jamaica, Trinidad, Panama, India, Thailand, Mexico and South Florida.
On Saturday only, guests can enjoy the Mango Morning Sampler from 9:30 am – 12 pm in the Garden House. Nibble on tasty mango dishes as Miami restaurants, caterers and businesses sample their best mango dishes and products. For an additional $125, join some of Miami’s top chefs at the 16th Annual Mango Brunch. The Mango Brunch is a fundraiser for the Tropical Fruit Program and the Fairchild Farm. Featured chefs include Jimmy Carey of Jimmy’z Kitchen, Chef Kareem Anguin of Oceanaire and Chef Allen Susser of The Café at Books & Books.
The 2015 festival is sponsored by Whole Foods Market, Simply Natural Investments, New York Life and Williamson Automotive Group. Mango Festival admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+, $12 for children ages 6-17 and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under.
For more information please visit www.fairchildgarden.org.