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Red Mango – Spicy Preserved Fruits of Trinidad and Tobago.

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Red Mango – Spicy Preserved Fruits of Trinidad and Tobago.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of taking the drive over the Northern Range to the most popular beach in Trinidad, there’s no way you could miss the lookout stop where everyone stops for pictures and to enjoy some of the preserved treats that are sold by local vendors. If you’re lucky (we’ve not seen him the past couple times we were there) you may even encounter a fella with a guitar who serenades visitors with his guitar and calypso music.

Last week we took the drive a couple times as we tried to make the most of our vacation and enjoy the amazing weather, since we knew we were coming back to almost winter-like weather in Canada. Here’s a short video clip showing some of the preserved fruits that are sold at the look-out stop. I believe this way of preserving is influenced by the Chinese part of our heritage. It’s a combination of boiling or drying the fruit, then cooking it briefly in some sort of red food dye and a combination of spices and hot pepper.

As a boy I remember buying such preserves, but the options were limited to mango, plum and cherries. I was quite amazed to see the many other fruits that are now preserved.. even ones not found in the Caribbean, like peaches and olives.

BTW, the vendors also carry a wide selection of packages snacks (cookies, corn chips etc), as well as other island favourites like, tamarind ball, toolum, sugar cake, mango chow and “chinee” prunes.

In case you’re wondering what the name of the beach is, it’s called Maracas Bay and it’s a great place to cool off on the weekends. But be warned that the beach is a favourite with locals on the weekend, so expect crowds. We went 2 times during the week and we pretty much had the beach just to ourselves. And though it was not busy, the life guards were still on duty.

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