Well, to say I’m a mango snob would be putting it lightly.
I mean, I love just about all types of mangoes: Grafted, Julie, Blackie, Kidney, Number Eleven, Bombay…
I come from an island (Antigua) where mangoes grow in abundance and mango season is anticipated more than the rising of the tide I would imagine…second only to perhaps Carnival.
Almost nothing beats the feeling of watching your mangoes “come in” on your tree. I remember watching the blossoms and then the leaves turn from a dull green to shiny one.Then the little, round, green fruit makes its appearance. From that point the countdown is on for the next few months to the magical moment when they ripen.
If you happened to have a yard with quite a few mango trees or maybe one mango tree with a reputation for sweet mangoes, you’d be surprised at just how many neighbours and passers-by have been counting down with you. 🙂
And one thing about living in a tropical region eh…it’s not only people who love mangoes. Most mango tree owners know that the birds and lizards are even more eager than you to taste the yellow goodness!
If you have a dwarf tree and the fruits bear close to the ground, please know that even rats have been known to venture out of the dumpsters to grab themselves some organic mango yum.
Now, back to my snobbish mango ways. When I say I’m a mango snob I mean I usually only pick or buy the best ones. Looks are important to some degree but the proof of the mango is in the tasting as well.
I do have an aversion to blemished fruits and vegetables (call it my OCD or whatever) but usually once the inside is okay, I’ll work with it. However, not so much with mangoes. You see, if I bite open a mango (I only bite mangoes that are locally sourced, this small detail is important) and there is a dark spot, or hole or some other such unnatural feature on the inside, that mango gets binned. When you are in a place where mangoes are locally sourced and you have access to many you can afford to be (In West Indian parlance) nuff… that is loosely translated to snobbish.
I do say the only time I ever used a knife to eat a mango (before moving to the UK) was if I had to share and there was only one, or if I was making a fruit salad or smoothie. Here, I cut a mango open. One occasion of biting into a mango that was dark brown on the inside while red and rosy on the outside was enough to learn my lesson that you can’t trust these ‘goes.
Currently, living in the UK has taken this mango snob down a peg or two. For the first couple of years, I held off eating mangoes altogether. Memories of trying mangoes when I lived in the US and Canada had me cringing at the watery cardboard-like texture and the soggy, wet, Brown paper bag taste of those dismal offerings. So, I didn’t eat mangoes for a bit after moving here.
Like any true West Indian though, (especially those who live abroad) eventually the mango thirst became too real and I had to give in. I’ve had many disappointing encounters but one or two that were fair to meh!
On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d say the frequency of getting a fair mango is 3. Yeah. 3. The reason why I felt compelled to actually discuss my mango woes in the open is because apparently it’s Mango season in Antigua now and a few other Caribbean islands and my social media timelines are flooded with pictures and posts of people just scarfing down all that mango goodness all willy-nilly with nary a thought to us poor deprived West Indians abroad who have to contend with picked-while-still-green-and-will-never-fully-ripen mangoes. They just don’t taste like mangoes ripened by the sun IN the sun. Heavy Sigh
In order, not to feel left out I got some mangoes on Sunday and just had one… I never knew mangoes could be bland until I moved abroad.
This is what I’ve come to. Smh!
A true West Indian would never leave so much flesh on the seed and skins of a mango so you always know when a mango “nah meck it” (doesn’t cut the custard) by the amount of fruit that remains on the throw away bits.
Do you like mangoes too? Are you a snob with a particular food?
Hit me up… ❤ CN