Sunday, August 13, 2006

mango mania

I love mangoes. I love its shiny green red-tinged skin, its seductive kidney shape, its intoxicating odor and orange yellow melting flesh. The markets are bursting with ripe mangoes at the moment and the other day on a splurge I bought an entire crate of about a dozen of the Kent variety.

The first phase of mango mania consisted of eating them fresh: slicing off two sides along the flat oblong pit, cutting through the fruit lengthwise and crosswise then turning the skin outside in so that cubes pop out and form "hedgehogs." They make a great breakfast; I love the combination of its buttery sweetness and bitterness of coffee.

Then came the frozen phase, in the form of sorbet, smoothies (blended with milk and crushed ice) and lassi (with yogurt, a sprinkle of cardammon and ginger added) In the last phase, I had them sweet & savory: sprinkled with chile pepper and salt as the Mexicans do, or as salsa -- delicious piled over seared tuna:

Mango salsa (or sauce, or chutney, or whatever you choose to call it)

Cut into small cubes two ripe mangoes and gently toss with 1/2 white onion, 1/2 red pepper and a bunch of cilantro, chopped. Squeeze over juice of one lime. Season with salt and hot chile pepper. Chill 30 minutes before serving.

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