As we get settled into our new home in Guam, we’re taking advantage of many local events. Mangilao, the village next to us just 5-10 minutes away, has a night market on Thursdays, which we attended for the first time. It’s a sort of combination flea market, plant nursery, and food festival. Our daughters and their friends had fun checking out the various items for sale and sampling all the delicious food, from grilled marinated chicken skewers to Italian ice, mango juice, roskette cookies, banana lumpia, and kettle corn.
My husband bought a machete at the night market. Last night, our 8-year-old daughter insisted we take a walk to go get coconuts. We got three young green coconuts from one of the many neighborhood trees, and my husband happily put his new machete to good use opening them up. The flesh of the young coconut is very moist and slippery in texture, similar to sashimi. We ate it with soy sauce and wasabi, the way we learned to enjoy “coconut sashimi” from some of the local Chamorro vendors. It’s so delicious!
My favorite purchases at the night market are our new plants. We bought a calamansi tree, which we’ll try growing in a large pot on our patio. Calamansi are small citrus fruit bursting with a tart orangey flavor all their own. We love fresh calamansi lemonade or calamansi squeezed into iced tea. We also bought a hot pepper plant, which can grow into a large shrub that bears the local tiny red Guamanian pepper with a powerful kick.
The village of Mangilao also hosts an annual festival, the Mangilao Donne Festival, which features this hot pepper. Donne refers to the hot spicy after burn of the local red pepper. We’ll be sure to mark our calendars for that event!