Man-go Lady-go. You-go I-go. A collection of vignettes.1/07/2010 11:34:00 pm
My grandmother cannot eat mangoes. She's deathly allergic to them. I can't imagine such a fate.
When it comes to summer, I am a hot stinkin mess. But mangoes are the respite. Warm. Cold. Juicy. I ate one just now. Sometimes in summer I eat one every day. I would eat more, but people would judge (and I have an irrational fear of the judgement of others).
Some years ago, we had a beach house. The reasons why we no longer have a beach house are many and varied, and don't need to be discussed right now. When we had that house, my uncle had a house too, with a Bowen mango tree in the backyard (note that he still has a house now, but that it is a different house..) That tree would go crazy in summer and mangoes would rain from the sky. They would fall on the ground and ferment and his horses would eat them and get crazy punch drunk on sweet luscious mango moonshine. And my uncle would sit out on the Pacific Highway with his ute and a sign, and he would sell those mangoes by the boot load.
The best way to eat a mango, though I will concede, not the only way to eat a mango, is to first slice off the cheeks. The trick there is to get right up against the seed as you slice down. Despite my impressive mango eating skills, I'm yet to master that particular area of preparation. Then you cut into the cheek to make a grid. But you don't cut too deep or else you break the skin, and that's just asking for trouble. You turn the cheek inside out and you go for it. It does not matter if you get mango on your face, on your hands, everywhere. It's how it's done. The seed will make you work for it, but you can gnaw a mango seed for a long time and be occupied. You just have to go for it with both hands. It's a ritual. It reminds me of other things: different things from different times. Mango mixed with salty beach hands and the smell of summer, and the uncomfortable crunch of a single grain of sand coming between mango and tooth.
I am going to have a mango smoothie for breakfast tomorrow and things will be less bleak because of it.