Inder Salim on reader-l posted about The Mango Tree in his community. some people in his block of flats have 'claimed' the fruit from the tree as their own, and he comments about the validity of this.
at the end of the article, Inder asks, "So has anybody tasted a real mango, if there is one, and if yes, who deserves to eat that, and relish?". I've taken his question as literal and replied with the below post. I didn't comment on the issues that are also mentioned in the article - about people in his community living well together and sharing the fruit of the common tree - breaking down the community social control structures, or regarding some of the children who may not have eaten a mango. on the reader-l, a couple of people commented on some of his terms, calling them racist.
hi Inder, my mango eating experience is also from Australia similar to
Sophea's. mangoes are also grown in Queensland which is on the east
coast of Australia, to the North - some of the best (imo) come from
Bowen which is a town on the edge of the Whitsunday Islands. we had
relatives living there, so in summer, when we were children we'd be
sent a couple of cases of Bowen mangoes. this would be a real treat,
and some of the other neighbourhood kids would come over to share in
the treats. Mum would make us eat them outside in our togs (swimsuits)
with the hose next to us as it was a really messy affair. we just
peeled them and ate - they were very sweet, sometimes a little stringy
towards the end. we'd end up with mango juice all over our faces and
hands and have to hose ourselves off then run around in the sunshine.
we didn't dice the mangoes or slice them into more manageable & less
messy pieces as people do these days - the mess was part of the fun.
and yes, I've also heard (in Brisbane) that if the fruit hangs over
the fence into your yard or the footpath then you can pick the mango
and eat it. no one seems to worry as there's usually an abundance of
fruit which otherwise ends up falling off the trees to the ground and
the birds eat them and go a little silly - they seem to become drunk
on too many. the mango trees fruit in yards in Brisbane aren't as nice
as the Bowen mangos though - I suppose they're a slightly different
species? (not sure)
I had mangoes whilst in Delhi, and I was told they were famous in
India (I forget which city - somewhere South?) but they didn't taste
as sweet and juicy as the mangoes from my childhood. though memories
have a way of doing that to something when you try it again later.
plus I had them in a restaurant, and to me, that's just not the place
/ way to eat mangoes properly!! you need to be out in the sunshine
making a mess. :)
I hope your community can work out a way to share the mangoes and
enjoy them in the summertime.