Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One VERY large mango - Part 2

Well, it appears that it's not always true that good things come in small packages. In yesterday's post about an extremely large mango, I mentioned that I was waiting for breakfast today to taste the fruit. I know all too well that sometimes a very large piece of fruit (of any type) can be disappointing when tasted. Of course, the classic example of this those enormous strawberries that arrive from Mexico and California in early spring. Looking like a perfect strawberry from the outside, the first cut into the flesh reveals the first deception - the inside is white, cottony and often hollow. The taste is even more disappointing - just as cottony as the texture.

So it was with a bit of reluctance that I cut into the mango early this morning. I sliced off one side of the mango, with the knife parallel to the flat side of the mango's large pit. The inside was a beautiful, sunny orange, and from the pulp came that distinctive sweet and piney aroma of mango - with a very light touch of resin/turpentine in this case. Often that aroma and taste of pine overwhelms in large mangoes - making the mango like a fruit version of a heavy Greek retsina. In this case, the aroma was there, but was in the background, as it should be in the best mangoes.

I scored the flesh with a serrated knife, in parallel and perpendicular lines about 1/2 inch apart. Then I popped the skin inside-out, took a photo for this post, and then cut the cubes free from the skin.

All that remained was to taste the fruit. After the first bite, I knew that this mango was not only the largest mango I had ever seen, it was the best mango I'd ever eaten. To my taste, it was perfectly sweet - sugary, but not overly-so. The resin taste was present, but as in the aroma, remained as a background note. The texture was smooth and almost creamy, and the mango was noticeably non-fibrous. It was juicy, but eating it didn't require a quick shower to clean up after, as sometimes happens with extra-juicy mangoes. Perfection, all the way around.

Now I just have to convince my friend's mother to visit her hometown more often, and to bring back not one, but a whole basket of these fruits of paradise.


  1. I ran into your blog today... As a one-time resident of Fortaleza, I am quite impressed and appreciative of how you have focused this blog on 'Nordestino' cuisine. I will visit this site often. Keep those recipes coming!!! P.S. Any idea how to get ahold of some rapadura while in the states?

  2. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for subscribing to my blog. I can't say where you can get rapadura in the USA outside Brazilian communities, but I have been able to buy "jaggery" which is basically the same thing in Indian grocery stores. It's used quite a bit in Indian cooking. So you might give that a try if you live somewhere with an Indian community. Cheers from Fortaleza...

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