Mango in Venezuela, unofficial history

in OCD8 months ago

In Venezuela, one of the most expected moments is the season of Mango, a non-native fruit that has done very well in the tropics. Today I will bring my dear readers closer to the unofficial story of the Mango. For many, the precise moment when the mango seeds arrived to be planted remains an enigma.


The enigma has become an obsession on my part since I love the Mango, a fruit of Asian origin that according to popular knowledge arrived in Venezuelan Caribbean lands thanks to the Spanish invasion, yet many do not know the exact year or the place where the exotic fruit arrived.


During the 80s and 90s the novel was popularized by the general in his labyrinth written by the Nobel Prize winner of literature Gabriel García Marquez who tells the last phase of the life of the liberator of America Simón Bolívar, he was about to include a fragment of the book where it appears reflected that Bolívar ate mango in the year 1800 in Ciudad Bolívar, This investigation and subsequent non-inclusion in the book of what supposedly happened took several months, since there were no historical records of the event, however he managed to clarify in subsequent interviews that his research is true and 100% real, but he decided not to place this passage due to multiple problems with the historical records.


Introduction of the Mango species to Venezuela

A little less than 100 years ago it was known exactly that the mango was first introduced in Venezuela in the year 1789 thanks to a Spanish navigator who brought with him mango seeds and seedlings that he brought from Ceylon to what is now Sri Lanka. The Spanish navigator named Fermín Sancinenea not only brought mangoes but also cloves, cinnamon and castile pepper. Evidently not all the vegetable species that the Spanish invaders introduced in these American lands were naturally found, in fact by the year 1500 the Spanish carried out expeditions in order to look for cinnamon forests, cinnamon is neither native nor can be planted in these lands, besides in 1490 Christopher Columbus wanted to make a trip to demonstrate that the land was not flat and would reach the coast of India. He actually arrived in America, a sad irony.


Sancinenea gave a landowner mango seeds and seedlings that were planted specifically in Angostura, today's Ciudad Bolivar, the same city where Bolivar lived for two years with his wife.


Mango in the social

Despite being a fruit from faraway lands, in a short time it spread throughout Venezuela and in the blink of an eye people took possession of the mango, so much so that for the last 234 years it has inspired musicians and poets, writers. It has been included in the menu of popular candy with exquisite jellies, juices, rice with mango, carato, or as I used to eat it as a child, green mango with adobo, salt, vinegar and English sauce. Those who are Venezuelan must have had their mouths watering.



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Special thanks to the delegation