The Haitian “Francique” mango is a truly unique piece of fruit. Mangoes in Haiti are actually grown and available year round, but the window for exporting fruit to the US is fairly small. Prized for their intense tropical flavor, many mango aficionados consider the Haitian “Francique” to be among the best varieties in the world.
Haitian mangoes are more flat and elongated from your typical Tommy Atkins or Kent mango. Their skin starts a lime green color and then will turn yellow, it’s brown or black freckles will also become more pronounced as it ripens. The interior coloring will be bright orange. A ripe mango will have a sweet and exotic aroma; the smell from a large quantity of mangoes will engulf an entire room. As mentioned, Franciques are prized for their intense tropical flavor… they certainly will not disappoint the pallet.
Haitian franciques are not grown or cultivated like traditional crops. They can possibly best be classified as “wild grown”. Many of the mangoes are gathered from families who literally have one or a couple of trees on their property. The trees are not sprayed or treated, they grow and develop as nature intended.
This year, J&J Distributing, one of your co-ops local produce distribution houses, is teaming up with a locally based non-profit organization called Haiti Outreach. As you may or may not know, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. One of the biggest problems Haiti grapples with as a country is the accessibility to fresh clean water. Haiti Outreach’s primary function in Haiti is building water wells to combat this problem. For every case of mangoes your co-op buys, J&J Distributing is donating a dollar to Haiti Outreach. For more information or to get more involved check either organization out on Facebook or visit www.haitoutreach.org.