Monday, 7 March 2011

Mango Mania


Mangoes, my favourite fruit
If I’m ever unfortunate enough to end up on death row, and I’m asked what I want as my last supper, my answer will be the perfect mango.

This morning I had the perfect – I tell you, the perfect! – mango for breakfast. Not too juicy; not too hard. Neither too ripe nor too green; too big nor too small. Perfect for a late season fruit! When Husband got tired of all the slurping yum noises from the other side of the table, he asked, “What is it with you and mangoes?”

When I was growing up in Zvishavane, a small town in Zimbabwe, we had the biggest, greenest, most prolific mango tree in our back yard. During mango season, we’d walk out into the shade and pick our lunch: mangoes as big as my head (or so I thought!). Mom would then strip my sister and I to our naked selves, dump us in a large galvanised iron bath filled with cold water, and let us slurp our mangoes to our hearts’ content. When we were finished, she’d take the hose and spray us down until we were squeaky clean.

And the fun wasn’t finished, either. We’d then wash the hairy pips and, when they were dry, we’d comb the hairs into fancy styles and paint happy faces on the pips. Violá - we had new toys every time we ate a mango!

No wonder I love mangoes so much.

Image from Australia Primary Industries. Please contact me should there be copyright issues. 

30 comments:

Bish Denham said...

MANGOES! I'm with you on this! In the isalnds we have some very stringing ones, small, sweet and juicy. Instead of a tub of water, we ate them in the ocean. My great-grandfather described it as eating custard off a paint brush.

Claire Robyns said...

Now mangoes is one fruit I've never taken to, something about the texture - but then, maybe I've never tasted the 'perfect mango' yet (also, I don't have all those wondeful memories to go with it!!!)

Anita said...

I always think of my death row suppers...they change...sometimes spaghetti & meatballs, sometimes my mom's Mexican dinners, other times a traditional American Thanksgiving. My daughter is allergic to mangoes, so I never eat them, because I'm supportive that way. :) I need to email you about something. May do so now. Chow! Ciao!

Judith Mercado said...

For me, mangoes take second place only to papaya. Both delicious!

Frances Garrood said...

Funnily enough, I had mango on Saturday. I think I've only had it about twice before. Deicious! I was looking after my baby grandson, and a friend came to keep me company, and we ate the mango intended for the nanny. We then decided that "Eating the Nanny's Mango" would make an excellent book title. Well, wouldn't it?

Misha said...

Aw I love mangos too!

I come from South Africa and always ate tons (it seemed) of them when we went on holiday.

Tried the hairy pip thing, but my mom always threw them away. Sigh.

:-)

jbchicoine said...

I can't remember the last time I had a mango--I'm afraid that up here in Michigan, I would be gravely disappointed after reading this post!

Glynis Jolly said...

Ohhh! How fun! Mangos cost some here in the USA. I wonder if I can figure out something to do with a peach pit.

Marilyn Brant said...

Ohhhhhh, YUM! I *love* mangos but I've never had the pleasure of eating one as big as my head (or even close)! You've given me a wonderful image, Judy ;)

Lauri said...

Yes Judy I agree a perfect mango is a wonderful thintg!

Judy Croome said...

BISH: Your grandfather was exactly right! The perfect mango does have a custardy feel to it! And a mango in the ocean must be as delicious as a mango in the tub!

CLAIRE: You and husband would agree. Mangoes don’t do a thing for him! And maybe it is the memories more than the mangoes I enjoy...

ANITA: Yum! I’d go for your Mom’s Mexican dinners! And poor Daughter - allergic to mangoes! Gasp! I’m afraid I would still eat mangoes no matter who was allergic!

JUDITH: My Mom would agree – she loves papaya too. But my second favourite fruit would have to be sweet red grapes.

FRANCES: "Eating the Nanny's Mango" *would* make an excellent book title. Or what about “Who Ate the Nanny’s Mango?” Now *that* would make an excellent thriller! :)

MISHA: Where are you now? I thought you were still here in sunny SA? And does your Mom know how much fun she deprived you off by throwing away the hairy pips!?!?! I think she should buy you a box of mangoes to make up for it now!! :)

JB: Michigan? That sounds cold and definitely not the perfect mango territory. You’ll have to come visit us here in SA and you won’t be disappointed.

GLYNIS: Hmmmm. A peach pit? I suppose you could make a wrinkled old face with those! But you might need a magnifying glass to see it! :)

MARILYN: Weeelllll…maybe it wasn’t *quite* as big as my head, but I was small and the mangoes were really big, so it seemed that way!

LAURI: Anyone who has tasted a real African mango knows the bliss of finding the perfect mango!!

Helen Ginger said...

What wonderful memories you have of mangoes. I loved reading this. My equivalent from my childhood would be watermelon. Mmmm.

Godfrey Senne said...

Yum!Now do you wanna make me feel hungry even though I had a very good lunch? You made me want to walk down to the street corner, where there's a guy who sells them very cheaply at R30 for 5 big ones.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy .. I'd agree and some granadillas .. too delicious .. wonderful to have your own tree .. and I love how you tufted the hair on the new toys. From my childhood would be eating raspberries and strawberries straight from the bush or plant .. too good to be true - warmed by the sun.

Actually I got hooked on mangoes via mango chutney (perhaps Indian connections here) .... then had the fresh ones when I got to SA .. Memories! .. Hilary

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love mangoes though the ones we're getting right now suck.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I craved them big time (maybe that's why he hates fruit). Fortunately this was during mango season. :D

Domey Malasarn said...

Judy, that's is one of the coolest memories I've ever read!

A Cuban In London said...

I held your post in my hand, smelled it, savoured it and ate every single line of it. For I'm a mango man.

As to which mangoes are yummier and sweeter... boy, you could kickstart WW3! :-)

Greetings from London.

septembermom said...

Love how you remembered "mangoes as big as your head"! I'm craving one now. Thanks so much for your friendship and support during these past crazy 4 weeks of juror service. I'm so happy to be back among my blogging buddies!!! Love how you wrote this post!

Judy Croome said...

HELEN: Oooh yes, watermelon! I have some good memories of those too! A juicy pink watermelon is definitely mmmmm!

GODFREY: R30 for 5 big ones??? I won’t even tell you what they cost here in Jozi! But I have to have my mango fix every summer so I grit my teeth and pay…!

HILARY: Raspberries, yes. Strawberries, no. I won’t even eat strawberry ice-cream! And, yes, we have a huge and vibrant Indian community here; even Mohandas Ghandi lived in South Africa for years before returning to India. Mango atchar is yum!

STINA: A mango pregnancy craving? Thank goodness it was during mango season otherwise your hubby would have been bankrupt! I don’t even have to be pregnant to crave mangoes. :)

DOMEY: Cool is what we were in that iron tub with my Ma spraying us with the hose water! My Mom is coolness personified. She’s now nearly 78 and on the way to Umdloti last week she got hold of some gummy vampire teeth and did a “Twilight in Durban” impression of Bella! (Photographic evidence that vampires do exist on Facebook!) Another cool memory of my Mom!

CUBAN: You’re a mango man!!! *waves excitedly*. As for the sweetest…definitely Heidi, followed closely by Kent. But before WW3 breaks out I’ll concede any mango is yummy!

KELLY: Welcome back from jury duty! Sounds harrowing but at least it’s behind you! And my Mom says they weren’t really as big as my head but, I swear they looked that big to my childish eyes!

Leonie Anderson said...

I love mangoes, too - one of my fav fruits!!
Great imagery, Judes ;) ;)

Angela Ackerman said...

I Love mangoes. I think it's so cool that every time you eat one you are reminded of this childhood memory. How wonderful!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm thinking of that horrible SNL skit where the guy was named "MANGO" and everyone kept saying his name.

If I'm on death row, my last meal will be something that takes a lonnnnnnnnnnnng time to eat!

feefioto said...

I don't care for mangoes but I've had to learn to prepare them because my daughter LOVES them. I would never be so foolish as to come between her and a mango (or for that matter a bowl of raspberries or a tomato).

feefioto said...

PS: I'd like to subscribe to your feed. Would you consider providing more than just blog post titles?

cleemckenzie said...

You've made me so hungry I have to go to the store for a mango.

Judy Croome said...

LEONIE: For a KZN girl, I would’ve thought pineapples would be a fav, but I can believe mangoes could convert even the most hardened fan of other fruits!

ANGELA: Are mangoes easily available in the US? I wonder what parts they grow in, or if your mangoes are imported?

STEPHANIE: Haha! And I can take a lonnnnng, lonnnng, time to find the perfect mango, let alone eat it!

FEEFIOTO: Now that’s mother love for you! Can’t stand cooked tomatoes, although I love raw ones, especially in a caprese salad! Yum.
I’ll see what I can do about that RSS feed (but it may take some time because I’m a techno-twit!)

CLEE: I hope your nearest store has delicious mangoes for you!

feefioto said...

You're in Blogger so it's easy to revise your feed. Log in and go to Settings and select Site Feed. Then opt for Full Feed and you're set. As someone who follows blogs through a reader, I subscribe only to blogs that offer a full feed because all the clicking back and forth takes too much time. If you haven't already, you might want to explore more of Blogger's options to take best advantage of its offerings. Good luck!

Judy Croome said...

FEEFIOTO: Thanks for the guidance. I've played around with it and - by Gad!- I think I've got it! :) I've even managed to add a "subscribe by email" button. I'm feeling all 21st century now! Please let me know if you still have problems.

Robyn Campbell said...

Judy, we always ate our mangoes wearing our bathing suits in the ocean or by the hose where Mom would give us a good hose washing after. They are my favorite fruit. I always got mine for free, but here in NC I have to pay two bucks sometimes just to get a mediocre mango. I thought about ordering from Florida. I think I'll check into that. (((HUGS))) and kisses from Christopher and I. We LOVE you.

Judy Croome said...

ROBYN: No bathing suits for us in the wilds of Africa; it was *kaalgat* and beware the goggas! :) But a mediocre mango...oh no! But where needs must, I suppose any mango is better than none. Sending hugs & xxxs to you and Christopher! :)