February 5, 2010

I am a mango master. And yes, this is a legit accomplishment.

One of the best parts of Colombia is the inexpensive, delicious, fresh fruit in every grocery store (or street corner) on a daily basis. The produce section abounds with common fruits I have known back in the States, like apples, strawberries, pineapple, cantalope, and mango, to new fruits I had never even heard of until I came to Colombia. For example, lulo, guanabana, mora, granadilla, pitaya and more!
One fruit in particular has been the subject of many discussions here in Cali - the illusive mango. Do not be fooled by the sweet, delicious smelling, yellowy goodness inside, for to arrive at that amazing entity you must first cut the mango. So grab a knife and a cutting board, no problem, right?
The art of cutting a mango is no small task and should not be taken lightly. First, you have to take into account that mango pits ARE NOT round. They are oval shaped, very long, pretty wide, but without much depth to them. (That's the best I could explain it...if you cannot get a picture in your head may I recommend Google or a personal effort to improve your spatial reasoning). So you examine the mango. Decide which way you think the pit goes and then cut into the mango along the pit. In order to maximize amount of delicious yellowy mango for eating you want to cut as close to the pit as possible. BUT not too far that you cut into the pit (which is darn near impossible, more likely your knife will get stuck and you are back to square one).
Assuming you cut along the pit and now have a slice of mango to deal with, the skin is still on the mango. Eating the skin of a mango is a no-go, so now you need to skin the slippery goodness. Awesome. Thanks to a colleague I developed a sure-fire technique which involves slicing into the mango in a cross pattern until just before you hit the skin, and then using a spoon to scoop out the slices. Repeat to the other side of the mango, and you have many delicious slices to consume. The last step is to cut away any remaining mango-y bits from the remaining pit. Keep in mind the mango is juicy and all over your hand, kitchen, knife, cutting board and probably clothing by this point. No wonder most people, my roommate Steph included, simply give up on the pit all together and toss it aside.
Sounds like a lot of work, right?
It was.
At first.
But now?
I rock at mangos.
I attack, slice and chop them like an experienced chef.
PROOF: In making delicious Apple Berry salsa for this week's book club I decided to add a bit of mango to the mix. However, in order to add mango to the salsa I needed to chop a mango up into small little bits. In the past, I have only attempted respectable slices or bite size pieces. Never small little bits to go into salsa. Not one to let an inanimate object get the best of me, I decided to go for it. With Steph looking on wearily I attacked said mango.
The result? Check out this gem.
Look at all those tiny perfectly sliced pieces!
Enjoying the mango goodness that inevitably was covering my hands.
Skinned and pitted.
I am a mango master.
I was clearly quite proud - proud enough to document the entire experience on film. :) Seriously though, it made the already amazing salsa of green apples, strawberries and kiwi all the more delicious and everyone loved it at book club! There wasn't even any left for my lunch today! :( In general our hosting of book club was a fabulous success, and as always I walked away inspired to read and learn more. Here's a quick shot of our living room floor covered in just some of the books brought my ladies last night. Update soon to come on what I'm reading right now...
Until then, happy weekend!!

1 comment:

Bethany said...

Nice job!!! I've only had mango a few times but I really like it :)

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