Breakfast #37: Summer Mango Straight Up
March 31, 2011 by ChichaJo
Filed under Breakfast
I can’t talk about summer breakfasts without talking about mangoes. And, if you’ve been reading for a while, I can’t talk about our mangoes without getting a little too hyperbolic. So I will try to restrain myself as much possible.
I can only speak from my own personal experience that our mangoes are the sweetest fruit I have ever tasted. Not just the sweetest mangoes. The sweetest fruit. To my fellow countrymen, I know sometimes you may feel like we might not have much too brag about** but people, I tell you this, this is chest-puffing, feet-strutting, head-bobbing braggable. Something we can all click our heels over my friends. I know that I often bemoan our lack our fresh figs and berries and wild forest mushrooms, but really, I would never trade. Never ever***.
You can get mangoes almost year round here, as some farmers and fruit producers do their sorcery to get more harvests in a year. But the best mangoes are still the ones that come in the summer. Impossible sweet and juicy. And if you can find a farm that harvests only once a year, when the fruit is truly in season, that is gold. These mangoes are the pinnacle of everything a mango should be and are proof positive that produce is truly best when they are in season.
You can imagine my excitement when our supplier alerted her buyers that that those very mangoes, those that we have patiently (or impatiently) waited a year for, were now being harvested! We placed our order and the three of us went to pick up our 5-kilo box.
Yes, 5 kilos of mangoes. It’s summer after all and we will be having it from breakfast (and dessert) quite often. I top my yogurt with generous chunks and C has some smoothies planned. Little C will also be partaking of this most brilliant of tropical fruits -- already one of her favorite snacks.
But before all that, my best summer breakfast ever. I’d like to present you with a grand meal in which mangoes have been deliciously and skillfully incorporated. If I am honest though, I have to say that, for me, the absolute best way to enjoy our mangoes is straight up. And there is no better way to greet a sunny summer morning than with one of these.
Now, don’t be fooled. This is simple but by no means haphazard. First you need to wait until the mango is at its prime moment of ripeness – the skin will be uniformly deep yellow bordering on orange, the fruit will still be firm with just a bit of yield, losing its unripe rigidity, and above all else the smell…the smell of it will waft through the room and will be at its most concentrated in its stem portion. Once optimum ripeness is determined I like to place the mango in the refrigerator. I know, I know, for some it is a sacrilege to place fruit in the fridge, but believe me, once you have tried a well chilled mango on a hot summer morning you will be changing you tune. Slice as much of the cheeks from the seed as you can and scoop out the flesh with a spoon (as in the photo). After you are done you can peel the skin off the sides of the seed and bite off the flesh from there as well. Every bit is worth it!
Happy summer everyone! :)
**That’s aside from the lovely beaches, lechon (best pig ever according to Anthony Bourdain!), and our charm ;)
***Permanently that is. The occasional barter is definitely accepted!