Friday, May 2, 2008

On Mangos -- February 2008

I’ve had my first taste of African mango and now I can’t get enough. You cannot imagine how good it is: how juicy, how sweet, how full of flavor, how decadent, how (yes, I’m going there) sensuous.

Lindsey, my friend and post-mate, is of the mind that papaya is the sexiest fruit. (This is just one of many important things PC volunteers debate in our free time) To back up her claim, she points to the fruits’ shape – gently curving like that of a woman’s hips. Once cut open, you find the fleshy fruit protects an inner core that, once punctured, bursts forth a hundred squishy, delicate black seeds.

The symbolism is definitely there; I would say the papaya is the most womb-like, most womanly, perhaps most strongly feminine of fruits, but is it sexy?

For that distinction, I feel we must go further than just appearance and look at the whole experience. The color, the taste, the texture, the fullness of flavor, the way it drips down your chin. Taking the entire aesthetic and eating experience as a whole, I think mangos must win hands down.

Their color – the skin is deep green that shifts to crimson as it ripens. On the inside is the brightest, most unapologetically orange you’ve ever seen. It’s a happy but strong color.
The taste and smell is full and sweet. Never overwhelming, just keeps you wanting more.

Now the best part is when you eat it. Never quite finding the perfect cutting method to get the fruit closest to the pit, you resort to taking it by hand and eating open-mouthed with juices going everywhere, the taste and smell filling your senses.

Not that you LOOK particularly sexy. I’ve eaten only a few mangos so far and it’s always at this moment, when I’ve given up cutting and pick up the whole pulpy orange mess, and sucking what remains stuck to the pit, it’s always at this time I’m terrified a neighbor or student will come knocking. I won’t have enough time to clean all the juices off my hands and face and they will KNOW. They’ll smell the distinct sweetness, see the orange strings in my teeth, and know I am greedy enough to be eating mangos two months before season!

Go forth and hunt one down for yourself. I promise you even the worst mango is ten times better than the best banana. Hands down.


loehrke said...

Another point for the mango over a papaya: was there ever a bizarre sexual Chris Kattan character on SNL named "Papaya"??? Nope. But there WAS "Mango".
On your side, Mark Loehrke (Carly's dad)

H said...

Oh, that is so true. I love mangoes. I wish I wasn't allergic. When I eat fresh mango and the juice drips down my chin (which is the best way in my opinion) I have a rash around my mouth for two weeks. I'm getting excited about seeing you and everyone in Mexico (only one month away! yay!). If it is convenient for you to email, please email me at work: Would you be interested in getting a group together one day to see the mayan ruins on the mainland?
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