Thursday, May 11, 2006

postheadericon Have you eaten mangoes naked?

It is raining here today, I'm afraid. But, I hail it as a welcome relief from the very warm days we have been having oft late. I don't mind that it is warm but it seemed much too warm for so early in the season. I heard somewhere that this summer is going to be merciless - news like that makes me want to go Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggh!

Now, in India we atleast have something that compensates for the long, humid summers - it's a shiny, warm-to-the-touch golden-orange oval ball of delight that fits comfortably into one's palm. Its skin is as smooth as a baby's bottom and its fragrance is sweet and mild (unlike a baby's bottom, :)). I'm sure you've guessed what it is I am referring to - it's the King of Fruits, the Mango! We were in Brampton (the abode of a large majority of Ontario's Sikh community) last night and we saw a vendor selling mangoes @ 6 for $18 . We grabbed them and I had my first mango of the season for dessert! I have so many "mango memories" as a child. Mango being such an intrinsic part of summer, it's hard to separate the two. It's a pity my kids won't ever experience a mango summer.

When Mango season arrives in India, there are suddenly big globs of orange splashes all over the place! The grocery store across the road from our house became the abode of "Maaza" which is a popular bottled mango juice and for the privilege he allowed the walls of his shop to be painted with the yellow hues of the "Maaza" bottle. Elsewhere, the big double-decker BEST buses were also spruced up with orange, green or yellow paint depending on which mango drink they were advertising. A trip to the market had one stepping into an ocean of yellow and orange with every fruit vendor displaying neatly arranged mangoes prominently at his stall. The city restaurants also get caught up with this mango frenzy and many of them host Mango Festivals or lock up their chefs overnight to come up with an original recipe featuring this king of all fruit. I exaggerate, ofcourse, but there is this mad urge to get creative and competitive with his wonderful gift from nature.

(pic courtesy:

When we were kids we'd have mango for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We'd eat them cubed, sliced, suck the pulp straight out of the fruit with our mouths, or as "aamras" (a pulpy juice that mom would make) with puris to scoop them up with; we'd eat them anyway we got them. There was no stopping us, little Mango monsters that we were! Mango gluttony, however, did produce what is known as "mango boils" - little puss-filled eruptions all over the body. But that was just a small price to pay for the joy of slurping those juicy mangoes.

(making aamras: courtesy thebigdurian's photos as flickr

I can go on and on singing a paean to mangoes, but unless you try the nectar, or should I say ambrosia, of one of those Alphonso mangoes you might never fully imagine my obsession with them. However, if you haven't had enough, feel free to read the wonderful NYTimes article on Mango Mania in India.

In closing, all I have to say is that the theologians of the Bible probably got their fruits mixed up - I feel certain in my gut that Eve tempted Adam with the mango.


sruthi said...

alphonso mangoes are the best! My cousin sent me an article about the mango season in india in the NY Times:

There are some ridiculously delicious looking pictures in that article. No matter how hard i try, the mangoes i get over here are no match!

Rosemary Esehagu said...

Mango is my favorite fruit in the world! It really should be declared the the king of all fruits. It's nice to know there is someone who loves mango about as much as I do.

Pratik said...

I love mangos too. And I’m enjoying the mango season again. Thank God, I live in India. :-)

Lotus Reads said...

Sruthi - you're right. It's hard to find mangoes here that would match the flavor, color and fragrance of the mangoes in India!

Rosemary - Welcome to the Mango club! :))) What are your favorite types of mangoes to eat in the US?

Pratik - you lucky devil, you! I am told India is having a bumper crop this year!

Rosemary Esehagu said...

The best kind of mango I've had in the US is called "mango francis" or "francis mango." I believe it is from Haiti.

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks, Rosemary, I'm going to ask for this variety the next time I go shopping!

woman wandering said...

Wow ... I've never had one, writes the child of the land downunder in New Zealand.

It seems I should ... thanks for posting about them.

Beloved dreamer said...

Love your new Blog. Just had to check it out. I wonder if the trash can will follow me here?lol
I have, like TWW never had a mango. It always sounded so lush and jucy. Very exotic.
Again I thank you for your very kind words about my new poem. I was not sure of it but posted it anyway.

Shelliza said...

I don't really like manges (ecept Mango Achar), but I remember eating a type of mango curry at pujas when I was a kid. Geez, I can't think of the for that dish.