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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 12, 2006

Big Island is home to the biggest mango yet

Associated Press

Colleen Porter of Captain Cook on the Big Island shows off her record-setting Keitt mango, which was harvested last October.

SCOTT PORTER | Associated Press

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KAILUA, KONA, Hawai'i When Colleen Porter took her mango to the local grocer, it wasn't to sell it, but to weigh it and show it off.

Porter, already a state mango record holder, has been confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records as growing the world's heaviest mango 5 pounds, 7 ounces. The monster mango appears to be close to the size of a human head.

Porter, 47, a skin care specialist at Kona Center of Facial Surgery, has a certificate from Guinness to prove the record. She's framed it in mango wood, of course.

Virginia Easton-Smith, West Hawai'i agricultural extension agent for the University of Hawai'i, who helped with the submission to Guinness, confirms the record. The fruit had to be weighed and documented two separate times by three people. Independent witnesses verified six weighings.

Porter, who tends a small avocado and mango orchard, also stopped by several local grocery stores to check out her mango on their scales. The record-breaking fruit is a Keitt mango, which typically reaches two to three pounds.

"All the people I showed it to at Safeway and Sack 'n' Save were just amazed," she said.

Easton-Smith said the Big Island already is noted for producing the world's biggest jackfruit, but having the world's most massive mango is something special.

"We think it's very cool," she said.

Porter said she has been told a photograph of her mango is a "strong contender" to be included in Guinness' next edition, which goes on sale Jan. 1. The mango record is not found on the Guinness Web site, which includes only a selection of its 40,000 records.

The mango was picked in mid-October and still sits in Porter's refrigerator.

"We're turning it into a piece of art," she said.

Her husband, Scott, has made a mold from the mango and plans to create a sculpture to be painted by her daughter, Megan, an art major in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Porter, who has moved to a new home in Captain Cook, says she almost gave up her orchard.

"One day, I just didn't know if I wanted to keep it up," she said. "I looked up to the sky for some kind of answer and that's when I first saw it."

The granddaughter of farmers, Porter covered the fruit with a bag to prevent insects, birds and rodents from gnawing on it and for two months kept vigil.

One day it just looked ready.

"I climbed the ladder and when I touched it, it fell right into my hands," Porter said.