Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Tree in the Garden of Edie

I don't know if you like mangoes, but FYI the mangoes most commonly sold at your grocery store are not necessarily the best ambassadors of all the 'king of fruit' has to offer. Those gorgeous big green fruits with blushes of orange and red might look delicious, but they are in fact the lowly and inferior 'Tommy Atkins' mango, a durable yet stringy and insipid variety that pales in comparison to most other mangoes. if you want a delicious mango then look for the small, bright yellow ones labeled 'Alfonso' and buy one the first chance you get, because they’re special. The yellow cashew shaped mangoes aren't as interesting to look at, but they have a much smoother texture and more complex flavor than the ones you're used to. With few exceptions, mango lovers can agree that they taste better in every respect. Look for them in spring at your local Indian grocery or Whole Foods, but if you don't see the Alfonso you're at least likely to encounter another mango worth trying.  The Ataulfo mango is a close relative of the famous Indian mango, but this Mexican variety's widespread availability makes it the second most popular mango in the United States. Marketed as 'Honey' or 'Champagne' mangoes, these are much easier to find than the Indian imports and still taste much better than poor Tommy Atkins.
When I was a child my next door neighbor, Jim Gunnell had the greenest thumb of anyone I ever knew.  He could make anything grow and twice it's size.  His back yard was a jungle of gorgeous mango trees.  Jim and his wife, Edie, lived right next door to me.  He reminded me of Popeye and she was an artist who looked nothing like Olive Oil.  Jim worked from the time he came home from his job until dark on his mangos.  You could even hear him talking to his plants and humming as he worked.  The mangos were the best.....because they tasted just like sweet Georgia peaches to this South Florida native.  They were juicy and wonderful.  I kept a knife and salt shaker in the utility room for days when I would venture over into Mr. Gunnell's yard to sample some of these marvelous fruits.  He was always so sweet to let the neighborhood kids have a few to eat as long as we did not harm the trees, or eat from the big one in the center of the yard.  One day when I was visiting my mango friends in the back yard I decided he would never know if I ate one of those very colorful mangos.  He called it a Honey mango and I could just imagine how sweet that bad boy was going to taste....WRONG!  My very first bite of this 'Honey' mango tasted horrible. It was like biting into a peach soaked in turpentine.  when I spoke up and told Mr. Gunnell that the mango variety was bad he knew I had been where I was not supposed to be, and gave me a science lesson about how the taste of this mango really had nothing to do with the variety; it was just overripe.  I learned my lesson and never bothered the mango tree in the garden of Edie's again.  I have never had mango again.  There are some things you simply never forget and that taste was one of them.

1 comment:

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I fell in love with Mango's for the first time last year! Thanks for sharing your story......