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Massive mango


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POSTED: Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hilo radiologist Scott Grosskreutz's 7-pound mango grown on a backyard tree isn't quite a world record, but Paradise Plants owner Leslie Hill said it's the biggest one she's ever seen.

It's larger than a 5-pound, 7-ounce mango grown by Colleen Porter in Kailua-Kona that was confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's heaviest mango in March 2006.

Grosskreutz said if he had harvested the fruit two months ago, it would have been a world record. But a 7-pound, 7-ounce mango was reported Aug. 27 on Mindanao island in the Philippines.

Grosskreutz said he has two trees side by side in his back yard at the 250-foot elevation in Honomu. One has Keitt fruit, a Florida variety described on the Internet as “;one of the world's most outstanding mangoes.”;

The backyard farmer, a radiologist, said his Keitt tree has been very productive for many years, “;but this time around, a storm kind of blew off some blossoms so only one side produced heavy this year.”;

He took 250 pounds off the tree Thursday, he said. Most range from 1 to 4 pounds, with a few from 5 to 7 pounds, he said.

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He said he weighed his prize mango—“;bigger than your head”;—at Hill's home and garden center in Hilo.

He also weighed the mango Wednesday on the calibrated scale at the U.S. post office and confirmed it was 7 pounds.

H.C. “;Skip”; Bittenbender, University of Hawaii-Manoa extension specialist with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, visited Grosskreutz last week and tasted a 5-pound, 10-ounce mango from the Keitt tree.

“;It was not stringy. It had a very pleasant flavor,”; he said. An even bigger mango was on the tree, he said, adding that he has contacted colleagues in Hilo to follow up on it.

“;I was very excited because we don't think of Hilo as a big mango area,”; and now some of the world's biggest mangoes are being grown there, Bittenbender said.

Hill said she really wanted to taste the 7-pound fruit. “;Anything that big, how could it taste like anything?”;

The mango is on display at Hilo Shark's Coffee Shop for the next several days.

Tom Sharky, the coffee shop owner, called the mango “;a Hawaiian pumpkin,”; said Grosskreutz, who also has a coffee farm where he is raising Okinawan sweet potatoes, bananas and broadleaf mahogany.

When Sharky is finished displaying it, Grosskreutz said, “;We will have a mango carving party.”;