More Mangoes Than Mosquitoes ... Maybe

Costa Rica     Destinations, Food, Leaves and Critters
Playa Zancudo (meaning mosquito beach) would more aptly be named Playa Mango during the start of the green season, there are so many mangoes!
When I was in the small beach town of Playa Zancudo, in the far south of Costa Rica, last year in November, my friend pointed out a tree and said "you wouldn't believe how many mangoes that tree gets in the springtime." OMG the tree was so big it covered almost an entire city block (if they had blocks here)! Maybe not quite as huge, but it reminded me of the big banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui.

Well as luck(?) would have it, due to 2020 COVID-19 lock-downs and border closings, I am in Playa Zancudo for mango season. Wow, is all I can say. In California, mangoes are a luxury fruit and are not cheap. Here they are all over the ground; dozens of them under trees all over town.

I don't know if it's the budget traveler in me, or if it's just me being me, but it seems so wasteful! Can't something be done with all of these mangoes?
Fallen mangoes under the huge mango tree by El Coquito.
Fallen mangoes under the huge mango tree by El Coquito.
I was at a friend's house the other day and she had bags and bags of the darn things trying to get rid of them so she was not stuck with rotting fruit all over her property. Another friend had so many mangoes piling up under the tree by her rental, that she couldn't stand the smell anymore. Not only do they start to stink after piling up on the ground for a while, but they attract vermin, too. I walked by a couple of raccoons eating some fallen mangoes the other night.
There were easily a couple of hundred mangoes under this particular tree!
There were easily a couple of hundred mangoes under this particular tree!
You don't have to go climbing to pick them, just pick through the ones on the ground to find the freshly fallen. Each tree might have a little bit different tasting fruit, and how fibrous they are varies from tree to tree, too. People here really are almost mango connoisseurs.
Big bowl full of (free) mangoes. I couldn't be happier.
Big bowl full of (free) mangoes. I couldn't be happier.
Wow, these mangoes are huge and gorgeous!
Wow, these mangoes are huge and gorgeous!
I have literally eaten more mangoes in my time in Zancudo than in my entire life. It's such a pity that they are so difficult to peel and eat! Although I have gotten much better at it, I have yet to figure out the most efficient way to extract the fruit. I have ended up with complete mush at times which is pretty messy, but I just put it into an ice tray and end up with great mango cubes to use in my smoothies.
I'm not exactly an expert at peeling these things.
I'm not exactly an expert at peeling these things.
Feezer full of fruit ready to make frozen drinks, oh, I mean smoothies. ;)
Feezer full of fruit ready to make frozen drinks, oh, I mean smoothies. ;)
I put mango in my cereal, in my drinks, I eat it by itself, and who doesn't love mango salsa?! I don't think I can ever pay for a mango again in my life.
Mmmm fresh mango smoothie. :)
Mmmm fresh mango smoothie. :)
Finding ways to use mango everywhere I can.
Finding ways to use mango everywhere I can.

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