Are you eating the mango right?

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It is that time of the year when you go for the mango. The seasonal fruit comes with the joy of relishing it. The concept of the mango being available all year long — as in some multinational brands of mango drinks — should be anathema to the real connoisseur.

Everyone will also relish the raw mango, maavinakaai /kaccha aam/maangaai. Those tangy, sour slices, crisp to the tongue, sprinkled with salt and chilli powder, are a special treat.

Those days, returning from school was always fun. You walk home slowly but jauntily, swinging the school bag and lunch bag in one hand and savouring a raw mango, that one could buy for a rupee or two, in the other.

For the summer vacation, one would be dressed in comfortable and casual cottons and running around with cousins and friends. Playing hide-and-seek in the neighbourhood and climbing trees are daily activities. So is taking a plunge in the cool pond beneath the tree, holding your breath while taking a quick trip underwater, as your cousin decides to drag you down by your ankle. Lunch and snacks would be the only things for which you would want to go back home. Feasting on the delicacies made by the aunts and grandma would be the only respite for the never-ending hunger pangs. Maybe apart from some petty thievery in the neighbour’s nearby grove!

Oh, the joy of eating mangoes is an experience in itself. One could eat mangoes in the most proper and dignified manner by dicing the fruit into bite-size pieces, or slicing them lengthwise and enjoying the pulp, or converting the mango into a bowl in itself by cutting it alongside the seed and scooping out the pulp with a spoon. However, nothing would beat the joy of biting into the whole fruit, tearing out the skin with your own teeth and digging into the pulp, and slurping the juice off your palm — and then licking the rest of your arm to savour the moment! That would probably be the best possible way to enjoy the real taste of a mango.

I know what look you’ve got on your face, and you need to trust me with it. Let’s begin by being indifferent to the world and start focussing on eating the mango right. So, wipe that look off your face. Or perhaps you should do that after cherishing the mango experience. Are you ready?

So, summer’s here, grab the tastiest fruit of the season and dig in! Bon appétit! – Courtesy The Hindu

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