Five Noted Authors Recall and Iconic Florid Food Experience.

By Multiple Authors

This excerpt is from “Attack of the Killer Mangoes” by Phillippe Diederich

Mangoes. One day you love them, the next you don’t. Sounds ludicrous. I mean, who wouldn’t love this sweet and tangy fruit till death do you part?

When I was growing up in Mexico City, mangoes were my favorite treat. Impale a fork at the bottom of the fruit to use as a handle, peel the skin off like a banana, give the exposed fruit a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt and powdered chile, just like the vendors in Chapultepec Park. It doesn’t get any better than that.

So imagine my delight when we moved to Florida and I found that our new house in Southwest Miami—in the area that is now Pinecrest—had five mango trees in the yard. I could literally reach out my window and pluck a mango right off the tree, just like in those orange juice commercials on TV.

The trees in our yard and most of the neighborhood were part of a series of mango and avocado groves planted in the early part of the 20th century after Henry Flagler extended the Florida East Coast Railway down to Homestead and Key West.

Want the full story? Consider becoming a Florida Humanities Member to get your copy of FORUM Magazine.

Phillippe Diederich is the author of the young adult novels Diamond Park and Playing for the Devil’s Fire.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 Issue of FORUM Magazine. Visit our collection at the USFSP Digital Archive by clicking here.