A Jamaican Year: Measured by Fruit Seasons

For today’s WordPress prompt, I’ve been asked to list my top five favourite fruits. This is a difficult selection to make as I love fruits, and here in Jamaica we are blessed with dozens of seasonal tropical fruits. In fact, the year to a Jamaican is divided by seasons– fruit seasons. We begin the year with Otaheite apples, followed by mango season then lychee and guinep season and finally June plum, hog plum, cherry, naseberry and sweetsop season. Some fruit trees bear multiple times a year like oranges, bananas and ackee, one of the world’s most poisonous fruits, which is a Jamaican delicacy and forms half of the National Dish. After much deliberation, these are my top five.

Daily writing prompt
List your top 5 favorite fruits.

1. Mango

In particular, the large juicy ones known locally as East Indian mangos are my favourite. We have over 50 varieties of mangoes in Jamaica, but it’s possible that some are duplicates since some mangos are called by different names depending on which side of the country you visit. Close runner-ups for me in favourite mango varieties are the Julie mango (also called St. Julian) and the Bombay mango. Some of our mango names are very descriptive too like Beefy (because it is big and meaty in texture) and Stringy (because it contains a lot of fibre– which can be a nuisance to eat!).

I think mangos may be the unofficial favourite fruit of most Jamaicans too, given the number of folk songs dedicated to the fruit. Mango season in Jamaica starts in April and runs until late summer, with the peak crop occurring in May and June.


Mi nuh drink coffee tea – mango time
Care how nice it may be – mango time
In the heat of the mango crop
When di fruit dem a ripe an’ drop
Wash yu pot, tun dem dung – mango time.

De terpentine large an fine, mango time
Robin mango so sweet, mango time
Number eleven an hairy skin
Pack di bankra an ram dem in
For di bankra mus’ full, mango time.

Mek wi go a mango walk, mango time
For is only di talk mango time
Mek wi jump pon di big jackass
Ride im dung an no tap a pass
Mek di best a di crop, mango time.

Jamaican Folk Song: Mango Time. Here’s the English translation.

2. Jackfruit

Jamaicans either passionately adore or hate this sweet pungent fruit. Since it’s on this list, you know what side of the fence I’m on. Bearing some similarity to the durian which is possibly the world’s most hated fruit, jackfruit has a lingering pungent scent which can be smelled from a block away. Fun fact: the jackfruit is the world’s heaviest fruit to grow on trees. When picked unripe, green jackfruit serves as a delicious meat substitute. Thankfully, jackfruit has no season and is available year round.


3. Pineapple

Pineapple in Jamaica is available year round, but the bulk of the harvest takes place in May through July each year. With the exception of the sour ones, pineapples are a sweet source of vitamin C and super refreshing when enjoyed cold, earning it a place on my list. The only other drawback of this fruit is that it’s super hard to peel. Peeling pineapples with minimal waste is a skill I haven’t mastered yet.

4. Guineps

These tiny fruits which are green even when ripe go by a LOT of names: Spanish lime, chenette, quenepa– but in Jamaica, we call them guineps! Be careful while eating it– the seed is a potential choking hazard if swallowed whole, especially for small children. However, the sweet taste and the seasonality of this fruit lures me to purchase it from roadside vendors every single year when in season between the months of June through August in Jamaica.


5. Grapes

Grapes are the only imported fruits on my list. Our climate is too hot for grapes, although I have heard reports of a few farmers successfully growing grapes in our mountains which are much cooler than on the plains. As far as I know, no Jamaican grape farmers have grown grapes in sufficient quantities for sale so for now, I’ll continue purchasing this imported fruit. One day I hope to tour a vineyard and learn more about wine-making, the same way one can tour a sugarcane estate and rum distillery in Jamaica.


Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed this quick bonus post, but I have a new post lined up this Friday for my usual posting schedule. Were any of these fruits new to you? Share which ones you’d like to try, as well as your favourite fruits in the comments. Subscribe to get new articles in your inbox.

‘Til next time.

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Published by

Rochelle | Adventuresfromelle

Adventures from Elle is a travel blog for locals & visitors who want to experience the best of Jamaica, one adventure at a time. The blog is curated by Rochelle Knight, a junior resident (M.D.) in internal medicine and published author. She began the blog in 2016 as a medical student & wants to see the world, starting with her home country. Purchase her book 'SIGHTSEE JAMAICA' on Amazon and join her in Jamaica!

49 thoughts on “A Jamaican Year: Measured by Fruit Seasons

  1. Hi Rochelle,
    I don’t share your passion for grapes but I am from a wine farming familiy, so if you ever come to Austria – please link up! I’d be happy to show you how wine is produced!
    I am, however, a big fan of tropical fruits! The abundance and quality of fruit in Jamaica is a major reason for me to visit the island. Hope to come back soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jamaica is nothing short of so many diverse and delicious fruits! Mangos are my favorite fruit, but I have a hard time getting good ones here in the US (I usually go back to Taiwan, my mother land, for mangos, as they’re good there, too). You definitely live in a country with access to abundant, ripe, sweet, and quality fruits, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I agree, Jamaica is definitely very blessed. In fact, there’s hardly a street in Jamaica without a mango tree, and quite often these bear so much that the owner of the tree just gives them away for free or places them on his wall or fence for passersby to take free of charge. I’ve heard about the struggle of getting good mangoes in the States as well. My friends and family who live there are always so excited to get mangoes when they come home. I hope that can be fixed in the future. Mangoes are everything 🙂 thanks for reading

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have never heard of guineps, but they look juicy and delicious. (I will have to Google durian because I’ve never heard of that one either.) Jackfruit I’ve seen in the grocery store, but I’ve never tried it. I would love to see them growing. Like you, I’ve never been good at peeling pineapples, but they sure are good. Nice post, Rochelle!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I like four of the five fruits shared on your list. I don’t like nor eat jackfruit (the smell throws me off I guess, even though sweet in taste; when I’m tricked into tasting a little piece) 😉 I don’t eat guineps as regular but I can have it when feeling for it (the spelling always confuse me). Pineapples, I can eat a whole bag in one go once it’s chilled a bit (not cramping my teeth type of chill). Apple, I do enjoy. Mango, I enjoy as well I find that my intake of it are once in a while, despite my neighbor having a tree we share from time to time and one being somewhere in my Yard 😄. Grapes I also like. Had some the other day (sometime last year or earlier this year, I think) for the first in a long time and it made me happy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, so you are on the other side of the jackfruit divide it seems. I’ve never met anyone who was indifferent to jackfruit. It’s either a strong hate or love for the pungent smell. I’m so happy grapes and fruits in general make you happy too. Thanks for reading! If you have time, give this WP prompt a go 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this post Elle! The Guinep was new to me. I’ve had the opportunity to try jackfruit several ways – mainly at local food festivals when I visit the Jamaican booth 😄. I haven’t ventured to make something from it myself yet. My daughter is vegan, so I might take a crack it for her. I have to put Jamaica on my list of places to visit. Blessings to you my friend!

    Liked by 5 people

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