I have a confession to make: I don’t eat mangoes. There, I said it. I’m not proud of it, being perhaps the only West Indian on the planet who doesn’t love the region’s most celebrated fruit, but it had to be said.
Mangoes just don’t agree with me. They used to back when I was a kid growing up in St. Croix, but something changed as I got older and now I can’t stomach them. Perhaps my tastes have become overly Americanized over all the years I’ve lived outside the Caribbean… Or maybe I should blame this guy (watching enough of this could turn anyone off from eating anything).
So I have an aversion, albeit an unwanted one, to mangoes; so what? All I have to do is avoid them at the grocery store and move on to some other fruit, right?
If only it were that easy. Not only do I feel bad about missing out on all the great nutritional benefits of this sumptuous super fruit, but I also happen to have an enormous mango tree in my backyard! The torturous thing’s about 40 feet high and it bears like crazy! For the better parts of June and July each year, my home is filled with the sweet smell of ripening mangoes… and my sour tears at not being able to eat them.
Despite my mouth’s moratorium on mangoes, I’m always looking for ways to sneak them into my diet to take advantage of their health benefits. My latest method of mango subterfuge: Virgin Islands Tropical Mango Pale Ale.
I know what you’re thinking: Beer is not healthy! Some research says it is, in responsible doses, but I’m not getting into that argument. All I know is I need to get me some mango in my diet and this beer helps me to do just that.
Like any good ale, Virgin Islands Tropical Mango Pale Ale is hearty and full of flavor that’s a bit more bitter than the sweet, fruity palate you might expect (a plus in my book). It’s also not too heavy, making it perfect for the hot summer months when mangoes are in season. The mango flavor so objectionable to my adult taste buds is nicely subdued by virtue of the fact that the brewers actually use a mango extract in place of the real fruit flavor which they say is too strong (no doubt, I would agree).
Am I getting any of the mango’s vitamin and nutrient rich magic from drinking this stuff? Probably not. But I am getting a taste of my Virgin Islands home in every bottle, so what’s not to like?