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.

Find Elle on FacebookPinterestInstagramYouTube and Amazon.

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. Guinep is new to me. As for jackfruits, in Malaysia we have 2 varieties. I like both.
    They are called nangka and cempedak in Malay. I think the picture you showed is of nangka. We eat it raw and sometimes cook the unripe ones.
    As for cempedak, it can be eaten raw or cooked by dipping in rice flour mix, then fried. Cempedak has a stronger smell than nangka.

    Liked by 2 people

Enjoyed this post? Add your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.