Monday, September 23, 2013

60. Green Mangoes

It's now, in the burgeoning midst of the early hot season, that green mangoes are starting to form in the big mango trees.  They're still tiny, but they're already drawing a lot of attention.  Just yesterday I found three large sacks of baby mangoes for sale in the market.  

Kids, in particular, love these tiny green mangoes.  They can be found wandering all over Zobue with clutches of little mangoes in their hands, pockets, or at the bottom of their folded-up T-shirts.  They mash them up, eat them plain, or mix them with salt, then grin up at me with toothy-mango grins.  

I normally adore mango-fruit, but these immature mangoes taste really bad.  The flesh is sour and bitter, rather than sweet, and has an aftertaste of turpentine.  I can't think of anything worse to pair with my salt.  

At least the kids are happy.  It's cute to see them with one palm full of salt and one palm full of chopped mango, licking one and then the other.  It also reinforces our decision not to give them handshakes.  

Immature mango fruit on the tree
Feta picks a baby mango
Seni eats a plain green mango
A green mango served with salt

I hope that the first mature mangoes will be ready before we leave in November.  There's almost nothing as wonderfully African as a ripe mango paired with blazing heat and the first early storms of the summer rainy season.

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