This was declared at dinner last night. Needless to say, as the only American in the room, I gave my countrymen a bad name by cutting the two mangoes offered as dessert incorrectly. Sheesh!
Mangoes are a beloved fruit in Nepal. I have yet to meet a Nepali who does not like mangoes (if one is out there, please let me know!) There is even a “mango season,” where there seem to be so many mangoes they are practically falling from the trees like rain (okay hyperbole, but you get the point).
In the US, particularly as a native of the Northeast, it is quite possible for someone to grow up and never eat a mango. Apples– definitely, we have our own “apple season,” oranges, bananas and grapes are pretty ubiquitous also, but sometimes beyond that the average person might be getting into unchartered fruit territory (at least when I was growing up. Now exotic fruits are more accessible, particularly in juice form).
I remember reading about mangoes in a cookbook in middle school, and seeing a recipe for a mango smoothie. Never having tried one before, I tracked down a mango at the local store, and copied the cutting technique from the book. This is still the cutting technique that I use today– I mean, I don’t cut mangoes on a daily basis, mangoes are usually someone else’s territory, but I thought I had a handle on it.
So last night, after I got in from a long day at work, I was delegated to cut the mangoes for dessert. I took the mango and sliced around the pit, and then I scored the slices so the mango flesh would be easier to bite off the skin in square pieces.
P and D started eating and asked, “Where’s the rest?”
“There is no more,” I said “All that was left was the pit, so I threw it out…”
“You threw it out??” They pretty much yelled in unison, “Why would you throw it out?? There is so much more mango pulp we could get off of it!” P even melodramatically declared, “My dinner is ruined!”
Not only did they not like the way I cut it, but I didn’t get all the edible flesh sliced off, a cardinal sin of mango eating.
Last year D’s German girlfriend tried to slice a mango through the middle, not knowing there was a pit in the center. “How could you not know there was a pit?? Have you never eaten mango before??” he teased her (although I think he was serious about the question. It’s hard for P and D, mango lovers since childhood, to believe there are people out there who don’t know how to cut or eat one).
Thus, “Don’t trust Americans with mangoes!” If you are in the company of mango maniacs its best to let them have their way with the fruit.
I guess thats the last time I’m delegated to slice dessert.