The favorite Jamaican mango varieties of East Indian and St. Julian, better known as Julie mangoes, are now available in South Florida at Bravo, Broward Meats & Fish, and Presidente in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, as well as through South Florida-based Jamaica Place online. Shipments of Jamaican mangoes were renewed after an absence of some 20 years in June of 2019, and now Jamaican authorities have scheduled additional shipments from the island to markets in Florida.
“We are happy to have our Jamaican Mangoes here in South Florida. Let’s support our Jamaican farmers by purchasing these great mangoes.”, said Oliver Mair Jamaica’s Consul General in Miami.
In 2019, Jamaica shipped over 12,000 pounds of the Julie and East Indian mangoes to the US. The shipments were facilitated by the Mango Irradiation Program and were made twice per week throughout the mango season. Irradiation treats the mangoes with ionizing radiation to sterilize any existing fruit flies so they cannot reproduce. Dalton Hastings, Export Complex Manager in the Plant Quarantine Department of the Ministry, noted that the process does affect the taste of the mangoes, but increases their shelf life by killing pathogens.
Jamaica grows several varieties of mangoes, and the fruit has a distinctive place in Jamaican culture. The East Indian mango is considered by many to be the best-tasting mango grown in Jamaica. The variety originated with indentured workers who came from India to the island in about 1845. It is a large, fleshy, and sweet fruit coveted by mango lovers everywhere. The Julie or St. Julian mango is also loved by Jamaicans for its flavor and texture. It has a distinctive shape, being round with a flat side, and is among the juiciest of the mango varieties.
In April 2021, Jamaica continued its seasonal shipments by exporting some mangoes to the United Kingdom and to New York. The mangoes were provided by local Jamaican fresh food producers Native Nature, Dussard Trading, Tropical Foods, Carita Jamaica Limited and Wah Gwaan Foods (Yam Man) Jamaica Limited. The two shipments made in April represented the first exports of the fruit to the UK in seven years.
Photo: Oliver Mair Jamaica’s Consul General in Miami