Mangoes are in the market big time! Just a friendly seasonal reminder that the summer season is starting and the mangoes are beautiful at the momentâ€¦big, juicy, dense and sweet. Not all, of course, but there are really good ones out there at the moment. Mangoes are perhaps my all time favorite fruit, tropical or temperate, and I have written about them before. However, a year cannot go by without some mention of this delicious creation that seems to thrive across the country but does really well in Cebu, Guimaras, etc. They seem to be available all year round these days but the summer months still yield the sweetest fruit. Rather than starting an all out â€œwarâ€ on where the best mangoes are from, suffice it to say I am partial to Cebu mangoes because I happen to have been born thereâ€¦ and in Manila, I buy Guimaras mangoes as I have found them to be accessible, reasonably priced and among the most consistently sweet. In Australia, the mangoes from the Northern territories can also be spectacular.
Part of this post was also to show off the cool Art Deco-ish glass serving bowls that I found when clearing up my motherâ€™s stuff over the past few weeks. Several of the dishes and glass pieces featured in my posts of late are things that I inherited from my parents. I particularly like the clean modern lines of this bowl that probably dates back to the 1940â€™s or earlier. They are perfect for serving fruit salads, small mousses, etc. They are a terrific foil for the intensely yellow mango that was cubed and put in it. However, I actually prefer a slightly chilled mango served the more traditional way, sliced into two halvesâ€¦ And perhaps this is a good place to discuss how one eats their mango…I occasionally like the “caveman slobber all the juices approach of peeling the mango under a mango tree and eating it with my bare hands”…but most eat it with just a teaspoon and their two fingers to hold the fruit…still others, like my wife who has in turn influenced me, like to eat it with a FORK to stabilize the fruit and a spoon to scoop up the fruit!
Growing up, I was a huge fan of salty and sour tastes, consuming world record amounts of hilaw na mangga, sampaloc candy and kiamoy. I ate an incredible amount of really sour green mango with bagoong or rock salt and in my old age I find my tolerance for the sourest of the sour has declinedâ€¦ I still like green mango but opt more often for Indian mangoes rather than the unripe carabao mangoes that ripen into incredibly sweet wonders (isnâ€™t it amazing how the sour becomes SO sweet?). Recently, in Batangas, I discovered a bagoong alamang that had a lot of sugar mixed inâ€¦it was almost like a “bagoong jam” and it went REALLY nicely with the sour green mangoes! I am curious how all of you enjoy your green mangoesâ€¦with rock or fine salt, slightly brined (left in salt for a while) or pickled, with sugar, chilli, bagoong, patis? Whatâ€™s your mango combination of choice???