Facing Soviet-style food lines for increasingly scarce products at supermarkets, more and more people are turning to the South American nation's lush mango, coconut and papaya trees.
Around the crisis-hit nation of 30 million, people are consuming more starch and less protein. Many say they cannot afford three meals a day.
So mango season is being feted as never before.
"Now we can't throw anything away, not even the skin," said homemaker Iris Garcia, 58, whose son plucks mangoes in the windy Caribbean peninsula of Paraguana.
As the recession reduces employment and inflation crushes spending power, street corners are increasingly brimming with informal vendors selling freshly picked fruit.
Still, sweet tropical fruits are no substitute for a proper diet, and protests are spreading as delivery trunks become an ever more elusive sight.
For two days, Adrian Vega has been eating crackers topped with mangoes from the tree in his backyard in the jungle state of Bolivar.
"And by the looks of it," the 23-year-old student said, "I'll be eating mangoes for several more days because that's what we have."