Sunday, March 22, 2009

mango season!

One of the perks of living in Cameroon, so close to the equator, is the tropical fruit. Pineapples have been coming up in a steady stream from the southern jungle since I arrived at post, but it's been a while since I'd eaten a mango. That changed yesterday, when I bought two at the market (for 50 cfa each, the equivalent of 10 cents).

Since being in country, I've become adept at eating the juicy fruit. I've also discovered that we Caucasians typically are allergic to a chemical in the peels. Therefore, the main goal of my method is to avoid touching the peel, or else my lips swell. Even if I diligently avoid the peel, but over-indulge on too many mangos, my lip tingles for a while, but it's always worth it.

So here's how to eat a mango: Slice as thick a slice as possible along the flat side of the seed. Cut a grid into the slice, then invert the slice so the squares poke out. Eat the juicy squares, then repeat on the other side of the seed. Now you have a seed, surrounded by lots of good mango-meat and a strip of peel. Cut the remaining peel off by drawing a knife around the fruit: at this point, your hands get sticky. Eat the rest of the mango directly off the seed. Now wash your face, because it's probably obvious you just enjoyed a mango.

I ate my mango with some oatmeal this morning. I know the oatmeal doesn't look too great next to the colorful fruit, but it's an essential part of this Sunday breakfast.

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