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Johnny mangoseed


MARK SUISO OF MAKAHA MANGOES / In case you couldn’t tell already, mango season is upon us, as manifested from Chinatown streets to farmers’ markets to highway shoulders to–if you’re lucky–your backyard tree. 

For Mark Suiso of Makaha Mangoes, mango season means not only keeping up with demand at Whole Foods and Alan Wong’s, but preaching the gospel of a mango tree in every backyard. 

A financial planner by day, Suiso continues to give advice after hours–on how to start and maintain mango and fruit trees; during these sessions, the currency is fruit and the bank is your soul. 

Suiso spoke with the Weekly about why he’d rather you grow your own mangoes than buy his.

How did you start growing mangoes?

My father started growing some trees. He got a parcel of land in Makaha and started planting mango trees long ago. Back in the ‘50s that’s what a lot of people did…what’s been happening over the last decade or so is that people have been cutting down these big mango trees that were planted in the ‘50s.

Instead of taking care of the trees, they’ve been chopping them down. So that’s why we’ve been telling people, don’t chop down the trees, just take care of them.


Man go crazy

Current and upcoming events with Mark Suiso and Makaha Mangoes

Mango Tree Maintenance Class at the Urban Garden Center

How to take care of your tree, explore different varieties and buy mango plants.
Urban Garden Center, 955 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City, Sat 5/12, 9am–Noon
Mango Season at Alan Wong’s restaurants

for the month of June. At Alan Wong’s King Street restaurant, some of the specials include Makaha Mango Margaritas, Chinese Roast Duck “Two Ways” served with a spicy Mango Ketchup, and a weekly mango dessert special. At The Pineapple Room, Mango Month includes a Makaha mango salad with Kiawe-grilled shrimp and mango yuzu chipotle dressing, and duck a l’mango.
Alan Wong’s, 1857 S. King St., Third Floor, [], 949-2526, The Pineapple Room, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Macy’s Third Floor, [], 945-6573

Mangoes at the Moana

Makaha Mangoes and the Moana Surfrider are planning mango-centric events, including mango recipe contests, mango cocktails, cooking demos, how to grow your own mangoes. “It’s a good cultural thing where both residents and visitors get to be around mangoes,” says Suiso. It reminds him of being “a kid, when so much of my summer was centered around the mango seasons and doing things as a kid centered around mangoes.”
Moana Surfrider, 365 Kalakaua Avenue, 8/6, [], 922-3111


How did you develop a passion for mangoes?

I get up in the morning and I walk around my fruit trees and I feel like that’s my church. I know I’m in the presence of God when I do that…I keep telling people if you have no fruit tree in your yard, you have no soul…When you come to someone’s house and they give you something from their yard–say they give you a hand of bananas–there’s something really special about that kind of lifestyle. It’s really wholesome…I have to be the Pied Piper, the Johnny Appleseed…

I just feel like we’re moving the wrong direction. If we go through a whole generation of people that are not connected and we have these advocates about going green and being environmentally conscious, and you have no fruit trees in your yard, you’re a hypocrite. Reverend Mark, yeah, just call me Reverend Mark.

What’s the direction of Makaha Mangoes as a business?

The direction we want to go is to help people grow their own trees so that there’s more and more [mangoes] all the time…We’re helping them trim their trees, we’re helping them get their trees established.

What I’m also doing is helping people broker their fruit so that we get a consistent supply…I’ve been coordinating with different growers out in Makaha area. Collectively we’ve got quite a volume…It’s kind of like a little cooperative we’re forming on our own.

How many people in the cooperative?

Right now I’m working with four or five farmers in the area…we’re bringing in on a weekly basis close to 2000 pounds a week.

What are the varieties that you currently sell to stores?

We have a lot of varieties that we’re always experimenting with. Our main product is the Hayden mango because the trees are so good. A Hayden to me is still the standard here in Hawaii…I have Mapulehu, which is a mango developed here in Hawaii. It’s very fragrant, very mild tasting. It has very little fiber in it. There’s the White Pirie and the Pirie…[and] Gouveia, a good late -season mango.

And then we’ve got Keit that comes in late in the season. We’ve got a couple varieties that we developed ourselves. We’ve got one that we named after my dad. We call it the Reuben mango. It’s big and round and it tastes like an orange. We have a couple other show-off mangoes.

Whenever we do these mango tasting and displays, we have a whole array of different types of varieties. There’s hundreds of varieties that are available here in Hawaii. Thousands if you look around the world…we can essentially rival the wine tasters out there, tasting all these exotic wines. We can do that with mangoes as well.

Anything else you want to add?

I think the main message I’m trying to get across is I think there’s something special about having a fruit tree in your yard and a mango’s a good example here in Hawaii. But any kind of fruit tree growing in your yard is really nice. And any opportunity you have to do that–you can actually have mangoes in pots and fruits in pots…we them condo mangoes…If people take care of their trees with maybe a small percentage of what they do to take care of their dogs, I think we’ll be in good shape. Your fruit trees are part of your family, you know.

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…

DHL (INDIA) makes gifting mangoes as easy as 1-2-3-....

Gifting mangoes is now easy with DHL
Announcement / Corporate

 May 19, 2011, 14:04 IST

Come this summer pamper your loved ones abroad with a box of delicious mangoes through DHL’s Express Easy Mango service, a unique one-stop-shop and hassle-free service for gifting mangoes all across the world.

This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

Mangoes can be availed of free of cost by merely paying for the Air Express service. In addition, DHL Express assists customers with the necessary paperwork along with procurement of quality-grade Alphonso mangoes.

Commenting on the new service, Mr. R.S Subramanian, Country Head, DHL Express India said: “With the advent of the mango season, it is no wonder that DHL Express Ea…