Monday, 12 January 2009

More than one way to skin a mango

I hang out on this brilliant message board where I’ve made quite a few friends. Well, no, I don’t ‘hang out’ there. That would suggest indolence, or free time of any sort, which would in turn make me unfashionable. Rather, I stop in periodically in between taking meetings in the city (read: watching Danger Mouse) and doing research (read: tossing up different styles of underwear and seeing which ones hit the ground first.)

I love the women there. They’re generous, interesting and very entertaining. But every now and then, they help me put my cultural background in perspective and realize the pure common sense of how I was raised.

Recently, someone at my beloved message board re-posed an enduring question: how do you eat a mango? It’s not the question itself that makes me chuckle. Presumably, as a tropical fruit, a mango is not that easy a code to break, although I have seen them in supermarkets far and wide. But we’ll concede that the mango is tropical, and with this knowledge, you and I are not to look down our noses at the mango-inept just because we had the luxury of having the things growing in our backyards. Alright. But it’s the treatment of the problem that amuses me.

Person 1: How do you eat a mango?
Person 2: Check out the Williams Sonoma mango slicer. I got mine there.
Person 3: Oh or if you like, here’s the link for a video tutorial. It’s long but worth it!
Person 4: See, this is why I don't buy mangoes.

Now, the above really reflects a dilemma of privilege. I like kitchen gadgets as much as the next woman, but a mango slicer? An online video tutorial? People, it isn’t that serious. I’m always tempted to yell “BITE A HOLE IN THE TOP OF THE THING AND SUCK IT!” But I fear that would be misunderstood. And probably a little unfair.

But a mango isn’t a little neon fruit covered in hair and scales that scuttles off when you chase it, and then, once you’ve caught up with it and cracked it open, is filled half with little hard seeds and half with a slimy paste. If a desperately hungry woman happened upon a mango tree and picked a fruit, she wouldn’t be frantically seeking out a Williams Sonoma for some guidance on how to eat it. I’m pretty sure she would bite into it. If something hostile spilled out, she would toss it aside and move on. If it were delicious, she would keep eating, find there was a seed, eat around it, and then cease to be hungry.

Granted I’m a little insane when it comes to my mango loyalty. They’re my favourite fruit. And I’m convinced that what Eve really ate in the garden was a pawee mango. (Surely no one would accept disinheritance and eviction all for the sake of a boring little apple. A mango on the other hand…) I know we live pampered lives, but let’s not make them ridiculous. Let’s submit to some experimentation. You don’t have to get as complex as a bullet. Just bite the mango.

1 comment:

  1. Ok I just re-read this one and it is fast becoming my favourite! This inability to eat the thing properly, in this part of the world, has long bothered me.

    Oh well, this is a place where they think it is an exotic fruit so what can you expect. I am sure people think the same thing when I am eating a kiwi :)

    Keep them coming Mar


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